Despite Central Coast sweltering through the hottest ever start to October on Sunday with heat soaring up to 14 degrees above average and scorching winds Coastal Twist LGBTIQA+ Arts & Culture Festival 2023 preliminary figures demonstrate another booming year with participants enjoying Arts, Culture, Music and Ideas across 15 events over 7 days and nights.
The 7-day festival which launched Tuesday 26th with a private Exhibition party opening to an overflowing VIP room of who’s who of Central coast professional, government and local business leaders was later in the evening opened to the public with DJs and Art under the sparkling spotlight for the evening and 35% of all the Local artists works on display sold on the 1st, launch night.
70% of the ticketed events across Gosford, Ettalong, Woy Woy and Umina including the cabaret and dance party where completely sold out in a climate where the nation is seeing a drop in people going out and financial stress further playing an part in how and where people are choosing carefully in how and where to spend their money. “We are so very honoured in the support, attendance and love as the festival continues to grow and evolve as an original and locally made festival leading the way in that delivering something new, authentic and local can bring locals together and new Visitors to the region which have this year come from across the nation from over 200 Australian postcodes which is mind boggling” stated festival Director Glitta Supernova.
Coastal Twist festival now in its 3rd year is already enshrined as a unique and much loved original quirky Australiana vibrant beachside coastie experience that’s not to be missed, selected by the state government last year from across all festivals that take place across NSW each as one of a handful of festivals that have demonstrated early success attracted good audience numbers and demonstrated exemplary local engagement and strong original programming.
Fair day on Sunday was the only event with numbers slightly down due to Sunday’s extreme heat sstill saw a phenomenal 6,500 + visitors braving the extreme fire danger, winds and sand storm to support a magical, dusty day of LGBTIQ celebration. From kiddie area drag story time, circus and sensory play to Mainstream music Artists Kira Puru and Cry Club entertaining the masses. The Fair day hosted multiple other zones including YAAS Central Coast Youth space, food court, bar and retail area with an additional community space and audiences taking the opportunity to jump into the ocean to cool down and come back to dance, eat and enjoy the entertainment and retail.
Police reported no festival related incidents with the medics attending to multiple heat related impacts from heat exhaustion to heat stroke at Fair day. The annual end of festival sold out recovery and cool down party taking place after fair day at the Ocean beach Surf club Umina beach as the sun went down and the air cooled over Umina beach.
Over 90% of attendees surveyed reported they would recommend the festival to friends and family, while up to 30% of visitors surveyed reported they had come to the coast for 1 night stay or more across the festival. The Art exhibition closes this week with the exhibition seeing highest ongoing visitation traffic throughout the week with visitors and locals flocking into the kibble park local.