Coffs Coast prepares to host fabulously fun festival!
CoastOut is a 3 day beach festival running across various parks and venues in Coffs Harbour on the New South Wales Mid North Coast this year from the 25th to the 27th of October. The festival is an exciting weekend of art, music, dance and surf that celebrates the diversity of the LGBT community of the Coffs Coast, drawing thousands of attendees from across Australia and abroad for the fun filled event.
Skedaddle caught up with CoastOut Festival Director Todd Buttery for a quick chat about the history of the festival, some exciting new additions to this year’s event and what it was like growing up in Coffs Harbour.
Coast Out was awarded ‘Community Event of the Year 2012’ and this year’s festival is shaping up to be bigger and better! Take us through what we can expect at this years event… It’s gunna be a cracker of a year! Along with the very humbling award last year, the festival has been granted NSW Tourism Flagship event status in 2013 – which means they are wrapped with the tourism that the festival brings to the Coffs Coast. We hope it grows this year even more, we’ve got a bit more room down at Park Beach Reserve! That said, we’re launching a brand new CoastOut event this year – “The Big Banana Day Out”! 5 hours of mayhem at our most popular landmark! “Drags on Ice” at the ice skating rink, “Drag’n’Slide” at the Water Park and wait for it….”Drag Tag” at the brand new laser tag centre they are launching in September! It’s gunna be hilarious! A “Gaggle of Gay’s & a Cher of Drag Queens”! Our other signature events such as the “Unreal Surf Comp” is back where our winner can take away $500 cash in each division, The Zinc Welcome Cocktail Party and the SWEET Dance Party plus all the other fun events make up the 3 nights 2 days. Last year’s event boasted performers such as Bob Downe, Radio INK and Monique Brumby. What amazing talent do you have coming this year? We’re stoked to have Scottish Legend Mary Kiani join us, Mary is a dance floor diva who belts out some of the disco’s biggest hits, also the fabulous and flaming hot redhead Katie Underwood of Bardot fame. Bob Downe may resurface and we’ll have the vocal & vivacious Ms Sandy Bottom perform throughout the weekend. There’s a load more great artists plus the DJ legend Dan Murphy to spin the decks at the Hoey Moey! Do you ever get a little bit starstruck when you meet some of these people? Have you ever had a serious “fan” moment? It’s funny, I’ve had a couple of those moments with Katie Underwood this year, but like Katie many of the performers I’ve met over the years at parties or on dance floors somewhere in the world along the way. What was the inspiration behind starting Coast Out? After being away from the Coffs Coast for over a decade and being my hometown, I fell in love with the area again about 5 years ago. The concept came to me one week in January when I was up from Melbourne where I was living at the time. Later that year I moved back, didn’t think a lot more about it until our now Mayor put forward the idea that Coffs should host the Gay Gaymes! Knowing the enormity of a gig like that (15,000 people) I knew Coffs wouldn’t be able to handle it, but I called Denise anyway and ran the Beach Festival idea past her. 2 months later I was proposing the idea to council and they loved it! The first festival happened within 12 months! It was exhausting, but so rewarding seeing it come to fruition. What have been some of your highlights from previous years? I remember in the first year – how amazing it was to see so many people at the first CoastOut Fair Day! Also at the Hoey Moey for the SWEET Dance Party (CoastOut’s official after party). It was like “Wow, we did it”! ‘Drag Out the Dolphins’ was a major highlight as well, we’re giving ‘Dolphins’ a rest this year though. Hopefully back next year for our fifth anniversary! Is there anything in particular that you’re really looking forward to at this year’s festival? The Big Banana Day Out! There might be an EXTRA surprise for everyone this year there too! What is it about the Coffs Coast that makes it such a great host city for Coast Out? Great question! Being half way between Sydney & Brisbane is great because it brings people from those places (and beyond). Our stunning coast line is a plus for a Beach Festival. There’s heaps of suitable accommodation and the Park Beach area acts like a “Mini village” for everyone. It’s SO ideal! Did you grow up in Coffs? What are some of your fondest memories growing up in the region? I sure did. Lucky my folks were in the banking industry and we moved from South Australia the year before I started at Tyalla Primary. Some great memories are sand dune jumping at Boambee with mates, Jetty Jumping of course and I loved swimming club – I swam all the bloody time! Do you have any favourite places in or around Coffs that you would recommend for visitors to the city? The drive out and around Bucca. Nana Glen is stunning and also the Promised Land at Never Never creek – simply breath taking! Thank you so much for having a chat with us today Todd! Do you have any advice for people heading to Coast Out for the first time? Plan ahead, get plenty of rest the week prior, get your tickets early in case we sell out and most of all HAVE A BALL!
Check out this year’s promo video!