K.I.S.S. Arts Festival set to entertain Kiama again

FESTIVAL TIME: Organisers Tamara Campbell and Dave Evans are ready for this year's K.I.S.S Arts Festival at Kiama. For more information including the festival schedule, visit kissartsfestival.com.au. Picture: Sylvia Liber
FESTIVAL TIME: Organisers Tamara Campbell and Dave Evans are ready for this year's K.I.S.S Arts Festival at Kiama. For more information including the festival schedule, visit kissartsfestival.com.au. Picture: Sylvia Liber

There will be lip-smacking laughs galore when the K.I.S.S Arts Festival returns. 

The K.I.S.S. Arts Festival (The Kiama International Seaside Arts Festival) will return for its sixth year in 2017.  

The festival will run from April 28-30.

Each year, the organisers, Kiama residents and performers Dave Evans and Tamara Campbell seek to bring interesting, unique and talented artists to Kiama, and treat locals and holidaymakers alike to a slice of the international comedy festival scene.

The festival typically offers an interstate and international line-up of comedy, circus and music.

Last year’s festival marked a new time of year for the event after being moved from its previous January school holidays slot to April. 

Evans said the 2017 festival would feature the same location and similar format. 

“Last year we decided to give the festival a hub, so we moved it from being spread out around town as well as Jamberoo and Gerringong, and we brought it right down to the Black Beach harbour in Kiama,” Evans said.

“We built a little community festival village around the harbour.

“That was very successful for us. It really gave the festival some focus and made it feel like it had a home for the first time in five years.

“It felt like Kiama took ownership of the festival, which was great.”

International and interstate acts performing this year will include Mario, Queen of the Circus, the UK’s Chris Lynam (described by Evans as “an anarchic clown”), Indian street magician Jaardu, and acrobatic/fire show duo Dream State Circus (Western Australia). 

Kiama’s own political troubadours The Blowhole Buskers will also be among the performers. 

Mario, Queen of the Circus.

Mario, Queen of the Circus.

Mario is the creation and alter ego of Clarke McFarlane, a New Jersey-born and New York City-schooled performer now based in Brisbane.

He described the Mario character as “a pansexual fan of Queen, a super-fan”.

“He brings his joy of music and circus to people, with a lot of passion and comedy,” McFarlane said. 

McFarlane has taken the character to festivals throughout the world, and performs Mario in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. 

This year will be McFarlane’s first appearance at the Kiama festival.

“I hope to find some enthusiastic, open-minded, fun-loving audiences,” he said.

“It’s (performing) a two-way street. so hopefully they bring their enthusiasm as well.”

A new festival feature is the AIR (Arts in Residence) K.I.S.S Arts Tent, which will be overseen by Kiama area artists Paula Gowans and Penny Sadubin.