30 May 2023
The city’s premier arts and culture event, SPARK Ipswich, is back bigger and better this year from 6 to 16 July.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said SPARK Ipswich will again showcase the city’s creative flair with innovative programming, activations and performances all reflecting the people, places and culture of Ipswich.
“This year’s program is a mix of returning favourites, as well as fresh events such as the all new BRIGHTDAZE music festival, headlined by chart-topping Australian hip-hop artist Allday and indie folk singer Hope D,” Mayor Harding said.
“BRIGHTDAZE joins the Common People Dance Eisteddfod and IMMERSE as signature new events, along with the return of perennial favourites deLight, Little Day Out and WOMI, supported by other programmed events.
“SPARK is now one of council’s signature festivals and has grown in recent years to be a highlight on the calendar, joining the likes of Planes, Trains & Autos and the Festival of Horsepower as must-see events in South East Queensland.”
Economic and Industry Development Committee Chairperson Councillor Nicole Jonic said SPARK celebrated the diverse and creative communities that made our city special.
“Ipswich is a city steeped in magnificent heritage, but at the same time, our cities fast-paced growth is helping evolve our social fabric through diversity and connection. In turn, our character is strengthened from all our people sharing our unique stories through beautiful art, riveting music and plenty of fun,” Cr Jonic said.
“Our opening event, Ignite, honours the stories, culture and art of our First Nations people, while WOMI brings together music, workshops, foods and crafts from all around the world. Our many events and exhibitions also highlight this, with interactive installations from Eva Fritz and NAIDOC Week posters from 50 years ago to now.”
This year’s inaugural BRIGHTDAZE festival, an all-ages event on Saturday 8 July, will be held at the YMCA Springfield Central.
The festival will feature some of the best local and national artists, including hip-hop artist Allday, the cinematic Blak Folktronica of GLVES, Ipswich’s own Paulina and many more. Attendees will also be able to learn the craft of mixing songs through workshops held at the event.
Ipswich artist Paulina – the 2022 Queensland Music Awards Youth Award winner – said she was super excited to play a show in the city she grew up in.
“There is a ton of live music happening here in Ipswich, the scene has been building up for the past three years, there’s a lot more focus on the arts now so it’s awesome and I’m honoured to be a part of SPARK,” Paulina said.
Unifying all these elements through her art is Ipswich artist Jennifer Kent, whose work can be seen on the program cover, street banners and programmed on the façade of 1 Nicholas Street throughout the festival.
Ms Kent said the work depicts the light, joy and colour that SPARK brings to everyone in the community.
“This is such a big event for the city with everyone coming together to enjoy all the different performances, workshops and visual art,” Ms Kent said.
“It’s a great chance for Ipswich residents to connect with the local art scene and it is also a valuable opportunity for local artists to show what we can do, particularly as it’s held during NAIDOC week with its highlighting of First Nations art and culture.”
SPARK IPSWICH 2023 Festival Snapshot
IGNITE: 6 July
Celebrate the opening of SPARK Ipswich 2023 with a ceremony that honours the stories, culture and art of our First Nation people.
SPARK ON TOUR: 6 to 9 July
SPARK hits the road with Nadia Sunde’s Twinkle and The Moon - an interactive children’s theatre experience for two to seven-year-old children.
SPARK AFTER DARK: 6 to 16 July
Explore Ipswich’s cultural heart with music, projection, live performance, comedy and dance.
INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT: 6 to 16 July
The Creators of Ipswich Summit and Ipswich Has Comic Talent are key opportunities for our local artists to shine!
IMMERSE: 7, 8, 9, 15 and 16 July
An immersive playground of family-friendly arts workshops and performances.
BRIGHTDAZE: 8 July
This new, all-ages music festival will be headlined by chart-topping hip-hop superstar Allday.
WOMI: 9 July
Ipswich’s signature world music event returns to Springfield Central with music, workshops, food and crafts from across the globe.
LITTLE DAY OUT: 16 July
Ipswich’s signature children’s contemporary music and arts festival is little by name but BIG on fun.
COMMON PEOPLE DANCE EISTEDDFOD: 16 July
The mighty dance battle between Ipswich suburban gladiators and other frenemy teams from across Brisbane.
RAUSCHENBERG & JOHNS – IPSWICH ART GALLERY: 3 June to 30 July
Significant Others draws upon the National Gallery’s Kenneth Tyler Collection of prints by both Robert
Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns produced between 1968–1973.
EXHIBITIONS: 6 to 16 July
Explore exhibitions such as 50 Years of NAIDOC Week Posters, Architectural Layers: New work by Grant Quinn, Make Some Noise, and local artist Eva Fritz’s Little Things Big Things: Interactive Installation for Children.