TATE: "WE ARE AUSTRALIA'S CULTURAL CAPITAL"
Written on the 5 February 2015 by Laura Daquino
TOM Tate has declared the Gold Coast "the cultural capital of Australia" at the launch of Bleach* Festival this week.
The Gold Coast mayor was looking forward at the prospects for the festival, which is now in its fifth year and boasting its biggest program to date.
Stretching from March 6 to 22, Bleach* Festival 2015 events will take place from Currumbin to Paradise Point in the name of celebrating music, theatre, arts and culture. Special guests will include Rolling Stone 'Woman of the Year' Clare Bowditch, singer Christine Anu (pictured below) and author Tara Moss.
The initiative last year delivered an economic benefit of $6.9 million to the Gold Coast economy from a visitation of 63,000, with festival organisers expecting to surpass that figure this year in light of an expanded program to 60 events, 85 per cent of which being free.
Tate addressed a crowd of more than 200 creatives and sponsors who converged on Rabbit + Cocoon for the Bleach* Festival 2015 program launch, highlighting the festival as being at the pinnacle of the Gold Coast's cultural scene, which he described as "world-class".
"We don't want to be the same as Sydney and Melbourne," says Tate.
"We are creative and cheeky in an unapologetic way, boast an important 'have a go' spirit, make the most of our outdoor lifestyle which includes a 65 kilometre straight stretch of beach, and have more smile per mile than anywhere else.
"Australia has a lot of culture but the Gold Coast is more Australian than any other city."
Tate says cultural events like Bleach* provide a significant impetus for 2018 Commonwealth Games visitation.
"Creative people are the energy that turn on our city," he says.
"We need to honour events like this as we march towards the world stage.
"I want people to come to the Commonwealth Games and stay an additional week to enjoy the culture we have cultivated and not want to leave."
"We attract the highest calibre of artists and from there they mentor the up and coming, which is the ingredient to growing culture in a city."
Asked about the impact of the state election on event funding, Tate had a firm answer.
"The culture on the Gold Coast is bigger than any political event, and even if the party changes, our scene goes beyond politics," he says.
"Both sides want to grow culture and civic-mindedness you couldn't possibly say no to something that is such a good idea."