The Junction Arts Festival is one of the most popular festivals on the event calendar.
This year, the festival celebrates its 10th anniversary and with it comes a jam-packed schedule.
Be sure to use this guide if you plan on going to avoid missing out on anything.
Unforgettable festival ahead
Junction will be held from September 1-5 at a mix of places and venues. However, Prince's Square will be the hub of the festival, with much of the program held within the space.
Executive producer Frith Mabin said it had been both exciting and satisfying to get back into planning a large-scale event.
"It has been two tumultuous years," she said.
"Preparing work, getting the site ready, working with artists again, is a very good feeling."
A 10th anniversary is a milestone to celebrate, and Junction plans on making this year's festival unforgettable.
"It's incredible for a regional arts festival to reach this 10-year milestone, so that in itself is an incredible achievement. This year celebrates the transition of Junction over that time," Ms Mabin said.
This 2021 program is diverse and has been developed in conjunction with over 410 artists and community members.
"We feature Tasmanian writers, singers, and arts companies. [Attendees] can expect a platform to come and experience the best Tasmanian art that is being made in Tasmania, by Tasmanians, for Tasmanians," Ms Mabin said.
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The past 18 months has been a rollercoaster for the arts and events industries, with both facing heavy restrictions to minimise the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak. Junction is well-known for supporting local artists and now it has the ability to once again.
"We are so entrenched in the arts community in Northern Tasmania. These artists are our friends, we have a beer at the pub with them ... so seeing the struggles of the last 18 months has been hard," Ms Mabin said.
What you can expect?
So, the festival is here, but what can you expect? Well, something for everyone seems to be the answer.
One of the most anticipated highlights of the festival is Nightlight - an after-dark and self-guided art trail featuring immersive installations. Festival-goers can purchase a $10 tea towel map and start their adventure.
Family events are aplenty at the festival with The Junction Dog Show, Remade Parade, The Tweed Ride, Tony's Imaginary Circus, Birds of a Feather, and Little J & Big Cuz live in palawa kani.
This year's music program features more than 30 Tasmanian musicians from all genres. Crowd favourites include Medhanit, Tom Fowkes, Halfway to Forth, Sumner, and Tinderboxes.
Several events other than the live music also spotlight musicians such as the Apres Ski Party where the hits of the evening will be played by Alpine Express, Cabaret Lovers: Bond, Bassey and Barbra which will be performed by Samantha Hammersley and Ben Austin, and the sold out Backyard Bands featuring The Sleepyheads, RABBIT, Kat Edwards and a DJ set by Hugo Bladel.
The Opening Night event featuring the Sunset Ceremony, MUSTER and the Apres Ski Party will start the festival.
"The Sunset Ceremony is a First Nations welcome to the festival ... there will be spoken word, singing, dancing and projections," Ms Mabin said. "That's been a project that has been in the pipeline for a number of years."
Of course there will also be food and beverage vans dotted around the square to quench thirst and satisfy grumbling bellies.
With so much on offer it could be easy to get overwhelmed or miss an event, but Ms Mabin said those who were unsure what to attend could visit Prince's Square and festival workers would help guide the journey.
"Junction is about picking your own art and how you want to experience the festival," she said. "You can dip your toe in and come to the park and then next year take the full plunge into the festival."
Ms Mabin said the best way for people to organise their own program was to first look at the events running in Prince's Square and pick those. Once that was planned, attendees should look at events held outside of the square to add in.
The last day of the event also happens to fall on Father's Day, so if anyone is stuck for what to do with their dad, a trip to the festival could be a memorable way to spend the day.
It comes as no surprise that any event or festival has to abide by a COVID-19 safety plan and implement procedures to minimise an outbreak. Junction is no different.
As has been the case for most large-scale, Junction attendees would need to wear masks at Prince's Square, when lining up to enter the park, and at shows at the Princess Theatre.
The festival is asking that although they want everyone to enjoy themselves, their top priority is keeping everyone safe. Therefore, there are some rules and regulations attendees will have to abide by:
- Masks are required to be worn in Prince's Square, when queuing to enter the park, and at shows in the Princess Theatre.
- Directly in front of the Main Stage will be a seated area only, however patrons are free to dance outside of this area.
- Stay home if unwell and contact Junction for a refund if required
- Be patient while entering venues, and download and use the Check In TAS app
- Social distance and keep distance while queuing
- Sanitise regularly
- Stay seated while drinking
- If someone feels unwell at the festival they should speak to a staff member who will direct them to a COVID Safety Officer
- If someone sees a breach of the safety guidelines, please let staff know
The event will also only allow limited dancing so the festival has asked attendees follow directions from staff and sit down if standing is not needed.
The restrictions are subject to change at any time, and the COVID-19 plan was expected to be finalised on Monday evening. For more visit junctionartsfestival.com.au.