Cheers to the colourful and lovable Junction

Junction Arts Festival wraps up on Sunday after another successful year.

Always eclectic, immersive and evolving, the festival’s program this year involved everything from tweed to Madonna to frisbees.

The festival has been delighting and inspiring Launceston for seven years now.

It first began as an arm of a regional arts conference, and steadily grew from there.

Some of its early years patrons would remember it under the big top in Civic Square.

For the past two years, its home has been Prince’s Square.

Normally, Launcestonians steer clear of the square after dark.

But during Junction, the beautiful and historic park is given a new personality, with lights, music, and energy.

The doldrums of winter are beginning to lift, and the community is encouraged to celebrate the start of spring.

We’ve been lucky this festival – the weather has been forgiving enough that one only needs to don three layers of clothing to enjoy the outdoor festivities.

One of the key legacies of Junction is its commitment to promoting its own.

Sure, the line-up features international acts of enormous calibre.

But holding their own alongside those acts is our homegrown talent.

The Examiner spoke to musician and program coordinator Mary Shannon this week, who said the festival was an invaluable exposure experience for local musicians.

“The music program still holds to Junction’s roots of wanting to be a platform for local artists to be able to showcase themselves as well as creating a space for people to come and get involved in the party and the community,” Shannon said.

The same goes for visual art.

Festival creative director Greg Clarke is in his second year with the event, and said he’s been “blown away” by our outstanding artists.

“This year, we’ve really focused on Tasmanian artists, so I’ve spent a lot more time in Tasmania, meeting with artists and developing new work with them,” Clarke told The Examiner.

So as the festival dances its way to a close on Sunday, Launceston should look back proudly at what the festival has offered in the past five days.

The city is lucky to have such an event that celebrates its locals, and brings best of the world to its community.

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