Gen Connected – Shockwave Festival 2015

The 2015 Shockwave Festival was held in Blackall on Saturday the 1st of August at the Blackall Memorial Hall and Skate Park.

“Gen Connected” was this year’s theme and over 300 young people from the Central West came to enjoy the activities on offer. For the first time Lacey Cluff from Winton ran a workshop at the festival which involved weaving fabric into copper wire. The wire represented hair of the girl that Lacey had painted on MDF board.

All of the activities at the Festival were the result of workshops given throughout the year as part of the Shockwave year long Program. Shockwave also had 6 young coordinators managing various aspects of the festival from facilitation to performance areas: Ebonee Christopher, Lacey Cluff, Logan Coward, Amanda Shale, Casie Graham and Zach Frost.

One young co-ordinator Zach Frost worked with long term arts worker Melinda Wells and learnt all about the music program and sound equipment that is needed for the festival. Melinda has been a part of the Shockwave team for five years and works closely with singers to prepare them for solo, dup and group performances on the Shockwave main stage. The ‘Out of Time’ Blackall Youth Band played for the second time at the festival and were great to see.

Arts worker Amelia Kalifa joined the team for the first time this year. Amelia brought her talent of lantern making which later featured in the evening lantern parade. This was a first for Shockwave Festival and involved people of all ages and encouraged everyone in the community to come together.

Donny Fraser, also came out to continue his involvement with young people in the Central West by facilitating skateboard sessions. Donny encouraged young people to test their boundaries with new tricks and manoeuvres. Skate boarders were involved in the lantern parade.

Kitch Wesche from Brisbane has been involved in Shockwave workshops before, but this was his first year at the Festival. He worked with young people teaching them about sound decks and recording. He also showed young people how to ‘beatbox’ (imitate sounds with their voice to create a song or musical rhythm).

Circus was a highlight of the day thanks to Circus facilitator Pitisi Hatcher. Pitisi taught participants all about tumbling, acro, juggling and plate spinning. During the evening program they performed for everyone showcasing the skills they has learnt throughout the day.

Shockwave is an initiative of the Blackall Tambo Regional Council in partnership with Winton Shire Council and Longreach Regional Council. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.