Hobart's annual Taste Festival is an unmissable source of family-friendly fun during the summer
Tasmania's week-long toast to local food, beverages, arts and culture has been an essential facet of Hobart's summer calendar for over two decades. Returning to the revamped Princes Wharf Shed Number 1 along the boat-moored waterfront this year, the 23rd edition of the Taste Festival will be stuffed full with a bumper crop of succulent eats and entertainment against the spectacular bayside view.
For those unacquainted with Tasmania's choice eats, this is the perfect chance to sample them at their best under the guidance of friendly, in-the-know locals. Sign up for their intimate Red Hat Tours, which are split into different themes to please all palates, and cruise through the many kiosks while picking up as many samples of smoked meats, artisanal cheeses, seafoods and desserts as possible, washed down with a glass of chilled wine.
Taking advantage of its scenic venue, the festival will reach loftier heights on New Year's Eve. The ticketed night cherry-picks the best of the festival's bites into a tasting platter for each guest, and you'll be swinging into 2013 as The Baker Boys Band and Baker's Dozen crank out lively jazz tunes and fireworks.
* Sixty-six stalls will be hawking food and wine, with 41 indoors at the main shed and the rest on the Salamanca Lawns.
* Over 250,000 visitors are expected to attend Taste Festival this year.
* Macquarie Wharf, where Princes Shed Number 1 stands, was the original landing site of Hobart's founder, Lieutenant Governor David Collins.
* Members of The Baker Boys Band have performed and toured with big-league acts like Gotye, INXS and Jet.
* The Princes Wharf Shed Number 1 cost NZ$15 million (AU$11.75 million) to refurbish.
Taste Festival is from 28 Dec-3 Jan 2013; for full programme visit www.tastefestival.com.au
A beachside big top on the Gold Coast is providing the stage for a leading acrobatic troupe's performance. The show's producer Sue Porrett tells us more
For their latest summer show, theatrical and aerial acrobatics specialists Angelis Productions have managed to squeeze in the most jaw-dropping circus stunts in two hours. While the vision for Lumi Air came to show producer Sue Porrett years ago, the plot is a more recent development. "We believe that entertainment should have a purpose, and leave the onlooker changed as the curtain closes," she says. "Throughout the creative process, a plot evolved that we felt complemented the acts. The lead characters' journey from darkness to light is a metaphor for everyday circumstances and self- discovery that anyone can relate to."
Groundwork on Lumi Air started this January, with 45 circus performers from around the world going through hours of rehearsals to nail down stunts, including aerial ballet and the Wheel of Death. The show will not be set to a specially composed score, but to familiar tunes instead. "We've chosen music the audience can identify with so they can feel more a part of what's happening on stage," explains Porrett.
Lumi Air is on from 26 Dec-6 Jan 2013 on the Gold Coast; www.lumiair.com.au
Number of lighting crew: 8
Number of sound crew: 4
Number of creative designers: 5
Number of make-up artists: 3
Number of costumes: 150
Total number of people involved: 120