The Lorne Arts Festival has announced its lineup for 2015, a kaleidoscope of the best in arts by the seaside

Now in its fifth year, the winter time Lorne Arts Festival is taking over the seaside town and turning it into a hotbed of arts and music events from Friday 28 – Sunday 30 August.

With over 4,000 people expected to visit Lorne’s spectacular coastline, this festival by the sea, will host some of Australia’s best cabaret, sideshow, circus, theatre, comedy, visual art and music events, as well as a whole horde of free outdoor street performance for kids and families.

“The aim of the Festival is to present high quality performances in unique locations. We want to ignite passion in the local community, out of town visitors and artists alike enabling everyone to share in a vibrant and unique cultural and creative experience” says Festival Artistic Director Monique Harvey.

The Festival kicks off with the Grand Opening Night Spectacular and popping the champagne cork on opening night is host and diva extraordinaire Yana Alana with her award -winning band The Paranas. Yana will showcase just about everything from the absurd to the sublime, a variety of finger picking guitar strumming music performances as well as a Welcome to Country by the Gunditjmara and Kirrae Whurrong family group.

Ruffling the cabaret feathers this year is burlesque beauty Gypsy Wood along with award-winning comedian Asher Treleavan as the Gold Coast’s most sensational hot magicians in Peter & Bambi Heaven’s International Magical Variety Dance Hour; Yana Alana, accompanied by her long suffering accompanist Louise Goh, bares all – quite literally – through song, dance, poetry and tantrums in Between The Cracks.

It just wouldn’t be right without a circus in town and Festival spruiker and star of Tom Tom Crew and Circus Oz, Tom Flanagan will entertain with his astounding acrobatics and circus skills as he guides visitors through the ins and outs of the Festival weekend; the Pitts Family Circus will perform a spectacular and funny show under the big top! Prepare to be entranced by the beautiful high trapeze, muscular acrobatics and the curious art of human foot juggling; hoola hoop virtuoso Judith Lanigan will twist and turn into a blur of hoops and flying feathers with Swanville about the The Dying Swan originally made famous by ballerina Anna Pavlova.

Special events include Indigenous dance and YouTube sensations Djuki Mala who will tell their story in a high-energy, full hour show. Djuki Mala will also participate and host a workshop to 600 children from 8-10 local primary schools over the course of three days in the lead-up to the festival. Black Panther Woman produced and directed by renowned filmmaker Rachel Perkins will screen at the Lorne Theatre for one day only. Black Panther Woman recounts Marlene’s experience in the first and only Australian Black Panthers chapter, the abuses she suffered from men within the Indigenous community and her need to break a 40-year silence.

The music program features a range of acts including world-conquering originators of vintage Bollywood-inspired surf, spy, disco and funk The Bombay Royale; Leah Flanagan melds an ageless voice with complex and alluring lyrics in a combination that will have audiences entranced; The Barkers Vale Brothers will bring a digestible mix of dry humour and high quality acoustic bluegrass music; The Cartridge Family are Sarah Carroll, sister Suzannah Espie, wayward son Rusty Rich and second cousin Greg Field, they also have a stack of foot stomping and sunshine-filled hillbilly songs of death, and for their strong affiliation to public radio, firearms and printing; Melbourne Surf Roots musician Tommy Castles will be joined by his ravishing bass slapper, Eion Panos, the groove king Ben Finley and Alexis Didelis; and of course the tunes of DJ Emma Peel will rock the night at the Cuda Bar Festival Club with her unique mix of old-school Latin, R&B and Soul-Jazz and more from 11.30pm on Friday and Saturday night.

Looking for Lawson is an exciting contemporary take on the classic Australian poet Henry Lawson’s work. Award winning composer John Thorn has taken Lawson’s much-loved poems and set them to music. He is joined on stage by highly respected vocalist and musician Lindsay Field [John Farnham band] and enchanting vocalist and comedic actor Emily Taheny [Mad As Hell, ABCTV], who will bring the work to life at this years’ Festival.

“With a strong cultural element to the 2015 program, we are particularly looking forward to welcoming Djuki Mala all the way from Elcho Island in North East Arnhem Land to Lorne after stellar seasons at the Adelaide & Desert Fringe Festivals, Melbourne Comedy Festival and Garrmalang Festival in Darwin,” says Monique Harvey.

Where: Lorne, Victoria – various venues
Dates: Friday 28 – Sunday 30 August 2015
Tickets: Opening Night Cabaret $85
All shows $20 adults and $15 children
Show package Buy 6 shows and get your 7th free
Free performances as marked on program schedule