Cairns Festival audience tops 100,000 in 2022

The 10-day Cairns Festival wrapped up over the weekend with over 100,000 people attending 224 performances featuring over 1,200 performers and artists.

The Festival’s packed schedule included 78 free and ticketed shows, performances, installations and exhibitions across 12 venues and venues, including Suburban Satellite events.

The Council invites people who attended the Cairns Festival to share their feedback to make the event even better next year.

Mayor of Cairns Bob Manning said festival highlights included the spectacular Reef Light on the Esplanade, which depicted the magnificence of the Great Barrier Reef through light and laser installations, and was visited by tens of thousands of people.

Passaros do Paraiso – Birds of Paradise Samba DancersThere was also a record 35,000 participants in the grand signature parade along the Esplanade.

“The 2022 Cairns Festival has been an incredible celebration of this region, befitting a 60th Diamond Anniversary event,” said Cr Manning.

“While the weather has not always been on our side, it has not been enough to dampen the morale of the Cairns Festival revelers.

“We always aim to deliver a diverse program that shows the beauty of this unique region and celebrates the community heart that beats in Cairns.

“This year’s festival was the largest we have ever produced, and the positive response from the local community has been overwhelming.”

Cairns Rock and Roll Dance Club - GracelandCr Manning said the festival was also an important platform for the talented arts community in Cairns and the Far North.

‘Cairns Regional Council is proud to promote the incredible arts and culture scene that thrives here in Cairns,’ he said.

“Over 60% of the performers, artists and dancers who were part of the Cairns Festival were from Queensland, and many of them call Far North Queensland their home.”

The Cairns Festival music program has seen the release of albums, new artist collaborations and the incredible energy of local artists including Cairns favourites, Lady Valiant and Kaweyova.

Brisbane band Fat Picnic brought great energy to the Esplanade main stage, while Amy Shark and contemporary dance from the Australasian Dance Collective filled the halls of the Tanks Arts Centre.

Judith Lucy and Denise Scott returned to the Cairns Performing Arts Center for the Festival’s comedy programming, alongside everyone’s favorite organ salesman Barry Morgan and his World of Organs at the Festival’s headquarters at the Courthouse.

No one who dragged themselves out of bed in the dark to catch Patricia Piccinini’s breathtaking Skywhales over the Showgrounds at dawn has regretted their decision.

Popular community favorites included Carnival on Collins and the Grand Parade, which featured 51 floats, nearly 2,000 participants and 36 dogs.

The winners of the Grand Parade float competition were presented with their trophies and prizes by Cairns Regional Councilor Rhonda Coghlan during a special ceremony at the courthouse on Wednesday.

The winners shared a prize pool of $6,000:

  • First place: Kuranda Town – Kuranda Up High With Diamonds
  • Second Place: Passaros do Paraiso – Birds of Paradise Samba Dancers
  • Third place: Cairns Rock and Roll Dance Club – Graceland
  • Best Eco-Friendly Float: Octo Bicycle

Elna M. Lemons