More than 300 performers will bring glitz, glamour and vivacious energy to Lake Kawana for the Buskers by the Lake Festival later this month. Among them will be Redcliffe musician Ky Lovell.
The event is part of a program of music events, which kick-off on October 29 with Battle of the Buskers at Eleven Dive Bar, Maroochydore.
The festival itself is on October 30 and 31 at Lake Kawana, Sunshine Coast Stadium.
The multi-award-winning event is celebrated for breaking boundaries, attempting world records and providing opportunity for anyone despite their age, ability or disability.
It showcases everything from comedy, circus stunts and sword swallowing, to award-winning musicians and emerging talent.
Founder Cindy Jensen remembers the moment she was inspired to create an exciting new concept for creative people of all kinds while walking through an outdoor market in Thailand.
She was mesmerised by four blind musicians playing ukuleles.
Cindy told her travelling companion she needed to bring that culture, colour, flavour and surprise back home to Australia and during the flight home, she wrote her plan on the back of a cereal box.
In 2014, she launched Australia’s first busking festival at the Gold Coast, with more than 100 performers.
has since grown to more than 300 buskers and in its seventh year has been reimagined as ‘Buskers by the Lake’ and moved to a larger home on the Sunshine Coast.
Cindy says one of the biggest challenges has been to plan and manage the major event with only the support of her brother Joel and friends who volunteer their time to make it happen.
“Every year I feel like a contortionist as I turn myself inside out to present the best possible experience for audiences but also the performers who share their abilities, dreams and talents so earnestly with our crowds; it is a non-stop and relentless process but one that is very rewarding,” Cindy says.
“Our reason for being is to shine the light on the art of busking, to offer opportunities to everyone with a talent, no matter their ability or disability and to have our audiences discover the undiscovered.
“Busking is a craft and a dying art, there’s a special energy and magic when the crowd and artist connect. Every single year I have a moment, when I look around me and see the pure joy in people’s faces – it’s those memories that continue to motivate me.
“It began as a free entry event but given it’s effectively tripled in size, the associated workload has become impossible for one person to complete in a volunteer capacity and the costs of staging the event have increased ten-fold, we have been left with no choice but to incorporate a small ticket price for adults and families to assist help meet costs.
“Buskers are only paid by the generous tips from our crowds and to ensure they weren’t impacted we kept the entry fee as low as possible and included $1 tip tokens to help spread the tipping message to the punters”.
Among those on stage will be Redcliffe musician Ky Lovell.
Lovell is neurodiverse and with a rare gift of perfect pitch, enabling him to play many instruments in key, by ear.
“Being neurodiverse with profound symptoms of autism and a genetic condition, this creates challenges with my cognitive functioning, social and practical everyday life skills, communication and sensory processing ... music is my communication,” he explains in his bio.
“My friends say I'm charismatic, talented and have super positive energy, delivering happiness to everyone, especially when immersed in my music. I enjoy going to live gigs and festivals and especially connecting with people in my community.”
Lovell, 19, attends the Queensland College of Music and is studying a Certificate III in the Music Industry.
“From the moment I wake … before sunrise, I start playing music either one of my guitars or the drums, harmonica, keyboard, singing and playing nonstop until I fall sleep from exhaustion,” he explains.
“I shatter disability stereotypes with my ability to play complex pieces of music. My enthusiasm for life and music is infectious and I will seize any opportunity to play music or be a part of the live music scene.”
Eleven Dive Bar, Duporth Ave, Maroochydore
October 30 and 31
Lake Kawana, SC Stadium
Tickets - early bird
$25 - adult (including two x $1 tip tokens)
$9 - child (5-17 years) (including one x $1 tip token)
$50 - family pass (two adults, two children) (including four x $1 tip tokens)
Venue 114, Sportsmans Pde, Bokarina
Tickets - $39
Lake Kawana, SC Stadium Foreshore
Tickets - $59
Visit the website for details and tickets