Sidestep Kids festival

March 18 &19 2023, Banner Park Brunswick heads

Sidestep Kids Festival was a free two day interactive arts festival for kids and families in Brunswick Heads, Northern NSW, that attracted over 3000 people. The festival was a magical multi-arts playground which inspired kids to be active, creative and connected to their community. The program included live music, circus, dance, comedy, game playing, storytelling, singing, collaborative construction, face painting your adults, up-cycled dress-ups, flash-mob fashion parades, dance competitions, joke telling, weaving, paper crafting and much, much more.

Almost 100 kids were in the program as performers and creators from Spaghetti Circus, Luminous Youth and Brunswick Heads Public school.

Brunswick Heads Public School children were engaged in arts workshops in the week leading to the festival and then were part of the festival program led by professional artists. They participated in physical theatre, storytelling, comedy, visual arts and singing in the Kids Shire Choir.

There was also a full line up of performances on two stages including: Joel Salom – The International Man of Circus with special guest, Erik the robot dog, Kids Shire Choir with Melia Naughton, kids music bands Bunny Racket, The Gumboots and The Curly Cousins a welcome to country by Delta Kay Arakwal, Indigenous dance with Mitch King, The Pitts Family Circus, Spaghetti Circus and Byron Circus Arts and activities and performances by Luminous Youth, Brunswick Girl Guides, Brunswick Primary School and the North East Waste Forum.

The festival was made possible with funding from the NSW Government’s Reconnecting Regional NSW – Community Events Program and was supported by the Byron Shire Council.

A huge thank you. Our school community benefitted in so many ways. Firstly, the collaboration around engaging community artists to share their skills with our students was seamless. The artists were professional in their communication and when on-sight with the students. We had an overwhelming number of families express their interest to participate and I was able accommodate all of them across the five workshops. Some students who never would get the opportunity to work with musicians, comedians and professional artists. Secondly, the festival itself on our doorstep was such a treat! Two whole days of kid centred, hands on fun was exactly what our community needed post COVID and floods impacting our region. The feedback at the school pick-gate has been non-stop thanks and praise. When I asked at assembly how many students attended there were over 200 hands raised!’

Verity Bee
Stage 1 Classroom Teacher – Wajung Community Communications Coordinator | Choir & Musical Director Brunswick Heads Primary School.

‘How wonderful was today!!! Such a beautiful event and we loved the bush critters and weaving!!! Gosh I hope there are grants for next year was so lovely to be surrounded by so many locals and community at an interactive and creative event!! Very special and grateful ‘

‘Such a beautiful, beautiful festival. Such beauty, joys and fun. Exciting activities and restful activities: singing, dancing, crafting, circus and of course storytelling!! Delightful audiences too!! Thanks Valley for a terrific event!’

It was so beautiful, quirky, surprising and peaceful…. and what a day. Congrats’.

‘It was absolutely BRILLIANT!!! Thank you so much for all the time, thought, creativity and energy you guys put into it. We can’t wipe the smiles off our faces. So much gratitude.’

‘It was a wonderful day. So much joy, colour, laughter and great vibe. We loved it!’

‘What a rainbow celebration! Beautifully styled spaces, aesthetically gorgeous, with gorgeous attention to detail. Celebratory, creative, kid focused activities which engaged all ages, creating and delighting in life, together. Stunning festival!!! Thank you’

‘Today was so great! Thank you so much for all your work to offer this to the community. We truly hope this will become a regular event ‘

‘Great atmosphere! Lovely people. So good for my son to get out there and giving it a crack!’

‘ The best thing on offer in a long time !! Money is super hard at the moment but to spoil my kids for free is so wonderful. ‘

‘ Amazing effort, so much to see and do. Kids will be talking about today forever’.

‘ Highlight was seeing all of the kids and families come together in a well organised appropriate event !! Like a wonderland. Well done!!’

‘ I love love love all the activities and festivities and people and colour and everything ! There are so many talented and creative people in the community, it’s so brilliant to have everyone together in the park making beautiful ART for all. My kid loved it. I got to reconnect with so many fabulous people. Massive congratulations to the organisers, supporter and artists for making this happen. Absolutely brilliant !!