UneARTh spectacular

ARTSY: Bamboozled Production Performers pose during the uneARTh Festival on Friday.
ARTSY: Bamboozled Production Performers pose during the uneARTh Festival on Friday.

Whyalla was treated to a blend of music, art, and entertainment at the 2019 uneARTh Festival held in the Ada Ryan Gardens over the Easter Weekend.

Australian rock band Thirsty Merc had top billing on Friday, performing their hits to a packed crowd to cap off a day of fantastic live acts which included Neon Tetra and local bands Alterdrive and Karma and the Jester.

Earlier in the day the Whyalla Ballet School wowed audiences with their lively performances which featured dances to ABBA hits "Mamma Mia" and "Dancing Queen".

Josh Croall took the crowd's breath away with his performance that featured juggling and acrobatics while local musician Emily Rawlings played an acoustic set and hosted a recycled workshop that was a hit with the kids.

Attendees were guided throughout the day by comedians Mickey D. and Boo Dwyer who took on the role of MCs this year, but old friends Lucky Sam and Eloise Green returned with a routine that had the crowd in raptures.

On Saturday the Whyalla community came together for the Rainbow Run, with hundreds of people splashing one another with colour.

Saturday acts included award-winning pop singer Abbey Howlett, Brazilian dancers, former local artist Ollie English and his seven-piece band, and the Mimili Yanku Band and Moon Band, both from the APY Lands.

The weekend was capped off with the Lazy Sunday event at the Whyalla foreshore that featured performances by Brie Ryan, Emily Rawlings and Olli English.

Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin said the steel city was getting a good reputation for hosting successful large-scale events following the recent By THE C concert and now the uneARTh Festival.

"It's a great opportunity for the music and arts community to showcase what they can do Events like the uneARTh Festival provide a big boost to the city's economy," she said.

Ms McLaughlin commended council staff and elected members for putting in many hours to ensure the event got off the ground.

Festival Coordinator Cara Hume, who joined the organising committee for the first time this year, said she was 'absolutely stoked' with how the event turned out.

Ms Hume said the changes to the festival, including expanding the licensed bar area and adding the Lazy Sunday event at the Whyalla Foreshore, were well received.

Other new additions included The Little Palais, a satellite theatre which featured acts throughout the day such as circus artist Kate Wright Dynamite and D'faces of Youth Arts, and Auntie Boo's Variety Diner - a night of burlesque and comedy led by Boo Dwyer on Saturday.

Ms Hume said seeing hundreds of people dance along to Thirsty Merc on the Friday night made all the hours of organisation worth it.

"You always have it in your head how people respond, but it was an amazing feeling to see that," she said.

As preparations begin for the next uneARTh Festival Ms Hume is encouraging attendees to submit their feedback to the Whyalla City Council via email to unearthfestival@whyalla.sa.gov.au.

"We're looking to reach out to people and find out what they did and didn't like," she said.