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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | November 20, 2019

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Bundaberg Showcases Local Talent at Crush Festival

Bundaberg Showcases Local Talent at Crush Festival

| On 29, Sep 2017

Bundaberg’s creative community will shine through the ten days of Crush Festival this October.

Crush Festival has evolved from a month long festival of events to a heavily curated ten day showcase of the creative arts in Bundaberg. The organisers behind Crush Festival have been working for about eighteen months to bring this year’s festival to fruition.

There are a range of events taking place within the ten days including workshops, book signings, the MidWeek Crush which Shelley Pisani stated ‘brings the city to life with markets’ and of course the Crush Carnival which is the centrepiece to the festival. A special part of the Crush Carnival is the Pub Rock Choir which is a new addition to the Bundaberg community. We spoke to Shelley Pisani, Crush Festival’s artistic director, and Diane Willis, the Coordinator of Pub Rock Choir.

The Pub Rock Choir started at the beginning of this year in January and have earnt their place in the Crush Carnival due to their growing popularity in Bundaberg. They are a group of members of the community who mostly haven’t had much experience or training in singing but go to pubs around Bundaberg and sing classic hits. Recently, they played at a pub crawl where they sang a couple of songs and then had a beer before hitting the next pub and doing the same thing. It’s a great way for the community bond and come together and there is no pressure for the members as it is a chilled and relaxed environment.


Diane explained the benefit of the Pub Rock Choir. “There is a big benefit to the members that we’re seeing. Some of the members have anecdotally said “we feel happier after choirs.” They have a sense of fulfilment. One lady said that it is just the best way to start off her week. A couple of other members have admitted that they’re real introverts and this is the first time they have been able to make friends in many years. It’s a reason for them to leave the house. And from a public perception, it’s giving a creative and social outlet for a lot of people who normally would not have connected outside of their work/home routine. The public response is also really great.”

The choir has clearly been beneficial to the community which aligns with Crush Festival. We asked both Shelley and Diane how important the Crush Festival is to the community of Bundaberg and both agreed that it was extremely important. Shelley explained that the city council is behind the initiative and have seen a great benefit to the community.

Diane also highlighted the focus on local talent “We do a lot of development work that runs all year and then is showcased in the Crush Festival. We’re really proud of Pub Rock Choir which stems from a project from the previous year which was a music project with a cabaret style. The work celebrates the ongoing growing arts community that we have. Arts is the richness that we have in our everyday life otherwise the world would just be grey.”

The Pub Rock Choir has been preparing for the Crush Carnival with fortnightly practices and will probably have an ’emergency practice’, as Diane put it, closer to the event. She also listed a few of their most popular songs including ‘You’re the Voice’ by John Farnham, ‘Hey Jude’ by The Beatles, ‘Summer of ’69’ by Bryan Adams and, their most contemporary song, ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams.

Crush Festival provides entertainment to people of all ages with a range of activities throughout the festival. Crush Carnivale includes an array of talent such as Circa Crush which is the end of a year-long training program of gymnastics and dance. This year’s theme for Circa Crush is a farming themed contemporary circus production.


A great event for the kids is Kids Crush Day on October 14th. This is a great event as it encourages creativity within kids as well as a learning experience. Some of the themes of the activities include art meets science, motion, grow and build.

Another huge event for the Crush Festival is the Mid-Week Crush. Activities in this event include the Great Gelato Groove, a celebration of music and gelato, the CBD StoryWalk which shows off Bundaberg’s history and the WheelBarrow Market, a quirky twist on traditional markets in the CBD.

Crush Festival, particularly the Crush Carnival, is sure to be a great event for people of any age. You can find out more information about Crush Festival by following their Facebook page here and you can buy tickets to the Crush Carnival here.

What: Crush Festival
Where: Bundaberg
When: October 6 – 15
Website: link to website
More Info: All ages

Images Supplied.