Shockwave ‘Back to the Future’ Festival 2018 a HIT!

The 2018 Shockwave ‘Back to the Future’ Festival was a huge success among Central Western Queensland Youth. Saturday, August 25th 2018 saw the main & surrounding streets of Blackall come to life as Youth from all over Central Western Queensland flocked to the tiny, drought-stricken town to not only celebrate Blackall turning 150 years, but to immerse themselves in the creative opportunities that were on offer at the 11th Annual Shockwave Youth Arts Festival.

The Festival is the ONLY Festival held directly for Youth, in Central Western Queensland and is a highlight for youth. Youth were able to access FREE Creative Workshops in creative areas such as Music, Dance, Culture, Technology & Art. Youth learnt the latest Hip Hop moves from ‘Divine our Destiny Dance Troupe’, while also learning Acrobatic style dance with former Shockwave Young Coordinator, now Professional Dancer – Ebony Christopher. Dance Mentors from Aboriginal Centre of Performing Arts and local Indigenous Organisation Central West Aboriginal Corporation, linked youth with our Indigenous culture and heritage through dance, story telling and Art. Youth were also able to take a step back in time to try their hand at a bush artistic form of Leather Art – at the Lost Art Studio in Blackall’s Main Street.

Think Digital, one of Australia’s most innovative Road Show Digital Experts, gave rural youth a taste of the latest in technology with Virtual Games and Experiences proving to be a favorite among youth of all ages. Youth were able to Virtually experience scuba diving in a reef or walk through a Rain forest, some things they may have never before been able to experience!

Renowned ‘Outback Artist’, Sandy Mclean held Paint Workshops through out the festival day, where youth were able to walk away with their own colorful canvas. There was also a Glitter Bar & Body Art Stall, ‘Bollywood Henna Art’, Braiding Tutorials, DIY Flower Crowns, Circus/Stunt Workshops and Community Showcases from Youth Groups around the region on Main Stage.

Skate Instructors from the Australian Skate Boarding Initiative came to teach rural youth at the festival skills and stunts on skate boards at the half pipe.

Shockwave was excited to bring back the Battle of the Bands concept with our “Wicked in the West” Comp, where youth all over Central Western Queensland performed for over $2000 worth of Musical Equipment. The Competition was coordinated by Shockwave Program Music Mentors – Central Western Music Makers, and was judged by X-Factor Stars Jess & Matt, and local musician and teacher Emilia Heaney.

A Laser Skirmish Battle field was set on the dry grounds of the Youth Centre, where hundreds of youth battled it out!

The afternoon shifted in the main street again, where youth got their back sides, trackside for the Annual Blue Light Billy Kart Races. The quirkiest homemade Billy Karts were on display and the roars and cheers from the crowd as youth sped down the runway were piercing. Even visiting Football super stars, Billy Moore and Shane Webcke took off down the Billy Kart Ramp.

The Festival night was wrapped up with an Encore performance from “Wicked in the West” Champion, 18 year old Tahnee Beatty-Smith from Longreach who took home a compete Home recording package, and wowed the crowd with his rendition of ‘Way out West’.

“Wicked in the West” Champion – Tahnee Beatty-Smith, 18yo, Longreach

It was then fire-balls-a-blazing with Scoot the Stunt Juggler performing deft defying stunts on a unicycle while juggling a chainsaw and fire sticks!

Brisbane’s hottest dance sensation and fresh from touring with Redfoo and Justice Crew, Divine our Destiny Dance Troupe set the stage on fire, bringing youth to their feet with their gravity-defying dance moves.

Divine our Destiny Dance Troupe – Shockwave Performance had youth on their feet!

The Festival was wrapped up with a performance from X-Factor Stars Jess & Matt!

The annual Shockwave Festival is part of the Shockwave Program and is coordinated by Blackall-Tambo Regional Council, in collaboration with partnering regional Councils such as Longreach Regional Council and Winton Shire Council. This program and festival was also supported by Arts Queensland.