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Join us for our annual Winter Solstice Festival 2016, celebrating the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

  • Celebrate seasonal living by writing affirmations and burning them in the bonfire.
  • Take part in kids activities and the lantern parade.
  • Learn about subtropical Permaculture at our workshops.
  • Enjoy good seasonal organic food to wonderful music and performances.
  • Family fun and good vibes!
  • The Winter Solstice Festival is a drug and alcohol free event.

Tickets will be $5 extra at the door. Ticket numbers are limited this year, so purchase your ticket now to ensure you are part of the magic on the day!

Winter Solstice Festival Program

Children’s Area

Note: the Children’s Area will be closed from 1:40 – 2:05pm for the Welcome to Country on the Mango Main Stage.

12:45 – 5: 00: Earth Arts: Explore your creative side using clay paints to paint yourself, other materials and/or contribute to our collaborative art piece. Your imagination is your limit!

12:45 – 5: 00: Lantern Making: Create your very own lantern to carry during our parade to the bonfire.

12:45 – 4:15: Face Painting:  Using clay paint and themed on permaculture, get your face painted whilst learning cool things about your animal/plant of choice!

12:45 – 1:40: Plant a Seed: Learn about seeds, how important they are, and how to grow a plant from them, whilst you plant your very own seed to take home!

2:15 – 3:10: Creative Writing: Take a guided walk through our natives area, where you will interact with nature through the five senses, followed by a descriptive writing exercise where you will write a piece about your experience with an opportunity to share.

3:15 – 3:45: Open Children’s Performance: Got a talent to share? Want to perform your creative writing piece? Here is your opportunity!

3:15 – 5:00: Creative Drawing: You will partner off and draw a garden, then take turns to describe your picture while your partner creates an exact duplication of it. Afterwards we will compare pictures and discuss the different ways things were perceived and received!

4:00: The Punch and Judy Ramayana puppet show: Mandy Partridge combines the world’s oldest two puppet shows, from England and India, and retells the stories with a few Australian characters thrown in.



Mango Main Stage

5:30 – 6:30: Zvonsky: Get your jig on with this 6 piece instrumental act playing lively tunes from across Eastern Europe. You’ll encounter swift exotic melodies, tight horn arrangements and infectious odd rhythms that will have you twirling around like a couple at a Jewish wedding!

6:50 – 7:50: Fat Picnic: Fat Picnic are bringing the phat back! Seriously, kick your shoes off and get your dance on to this 8-piece reggae, ska, funk and soul band.

Busker Stage

12:40 – 1:30: Virginia Sook: Lindsay from Virginia Sook shall be playing the Celtic harp, bringing humble tones and cavernous stories to the stage, honoring her roots and ancestry through folk sound while exploring a unique style with curiosity and innocence.

5:30 – 6:20: Daryl James: Celtic blood runs through Daryl’s heartfelt tunes. Imagine an earthy blend of Blues Folk and Ska, fused with irresistible funky modern grooves. Expect an exciting live show with full foot drums, wild untamed guitar and a truly original voice.

6:20 – 7:10: Old Semeil: Old Semeil sings songs from the heart. There will be songs that shall be explored in the live setting for the first time. Having played in local punk band The Mouldy Lovers for the past 4 years, this solo project finds Gavin in a much quieter mood, but with no less energy and passion.

7:10 – 8:00: The Songs of Tom Smith: His singing is barely more than talking, his guitar playing is mostly rudimentary chords but his witty and thought provoking songs have been heard in live music venues and on community radio throughout Australia for almost 20 years now.

On the Lawn

12:45 – 1:30: Mamiko: Mamiko plays to touch people’s hearts through the sounds of Marimba, resonating with the atmosphere and the people that share the special space and time.


Workshops, Forums & Ceremony

Possum Tent – Workshops

2.30 – 3.20: Subtropical trees with Dick Copeman from Northey Street City Farm: Discover some of the unusual fruit trees that grow well in our humid subtropical environment. Dick will lead a walking and talking tour of Northey Street’s diverse fruit tree orchards and give advice on orchard design, growing, tree care, harvesting and uses of the fruits they provide.

3.30 – 4.20: Australia’s Forgotten Pollinators with Dr Tobias Smith from Bee Aware Brisbane: While most Australians are familiar with European honey bees, and many are becoming increasingly aware of our charismatic little native sugarbag bees, fewer people are aware of the vast diversity of native bees and other native pollinators. There are over 2000 native bee species in Australia, and thousands of species of other native insect pollinators. Tobias’s seminar will take the audience on a brief journey through the lives of a diverse range of Australian native bees, as well as some other important insect pollinators. The presentation includes over 50 beautiful macro photographs, and covers species including blue banded bees, reed bees, masked bees, a number of different ground nesting bees, carpenter bees, hover flies, and more.

4.30 – 5.20: Earthships and other recycled homes with Ryan Mayne from The Greater Good Foundation: This workshop will provide an introduction to Earthships and other types of natural and recycled houses and how they perform in SE QLD with Q & A. Included will also be an overview of the projects Ryan has started through the Greater Good Foundation and upcoming workshops associated with that.

Fig Tree Tent – Workshops

2.30 – 3.20: Bush foods with John Wrench from the Queensland Bushfoods Association: This talk describes a method of engaging with the various aspects of Australian Aboriginal bush foods in a systematic and scientific manner. It is designed to reveal relevant, historical factual information about a somewhat complex subject. This will be accompanied by a description of the adoption of bush foods in modern food craft including commercial development.

3.30 – 4.20: Social Permaculture in Action – Showcasing dynamic examples of Permaculture Principles applied to groups and social design with Robin Clayfield from Dynamic Groups: Permaculture Principles are especially valuable when used to design our groups, learning environments and social systems. When groups work effectively and harmoniously together towards their aims and purpose, our world and the environment benefits. Robin has pioneered Social Permaculture globally and brings her passion for creating deep change through effective group work. She’ll support people to go home saying “YES” to effective, cooperative and co-creative groups and to improving their group dynamics with ideas, tools and great examples. Successful environmental, social and political groups = Happy people and a healthier, greener, more positive and peaceful world.

4.30 – 5.20: Seed saving for gardeners with Krystelle Ellaby from Northey Street City Farm: In this workshop you will learn how to select, collect, process and store your own seeds, with a focus on saving seeds from herbs and vegetables in your own backyard.

Mango Stage

1.45: Welcome to Country – Maroochy Barambah

2:05 – 2.35:  Seasonal living in the subtropics with Claire Bickle: In Claire’s keynote presentation she will discuss the importance of understanding seasonal growing and eating; permaculture in urban spaces; subtropical edibles that thrive in our climate; the sustainability skill set even for the time poor and how we can be the change to create a tipping point one backyard at a time.

2.45 – 3.45: Indigenous Caring for Country Forum – with Uncle Joe Kirk, Aunty Mary Graham, and Tallara Gray. Facilitated by Michael Williams : Indigenous knowledge and practices embody the permaculture principle of Earth Care. What can we learn from these about facing the planetary crisis we find ourselves in right now? What can this mean for engaging and taking action to care for the Earth? How serious are we about embracing an Indigenous Understanding of Caring for Country? How significant is a sense of belonging in caring for country? Can fostering a sense of belonging help us to be better earth carers?

4.10 – 4:15: Spoken Word – Jonno Sri

4.15 – 5.15: Permaculture & Fair Food Forum – with Morag Gamble, Dick Copeman and Thor Svensen:  This forum will explore the range of issues that mean that our current food system is broken, both in terms of people and planet. Speakers will discuss the ways in which permaculture is contributing to a fair food movement that cares for people and the earth both here in Australia and internationally, and the range of ways that we can contribute to an equitable, sustainable and resilient food system.

7:45:  Raffle draw

8:00 – 8:20: Winter Solstice Ceremony – Jodie Danaan & Sympatico

8:20 – 8:45: Lantern Parade

8:45:  Bonfire Lighting

9:30:  Festival finishes.


Yarning circle

4pm – dark: The ‘Caring for Country’ discussion will continue, with involvement from festival participants


Farm tour

3.30 – 4.15pm: Farm Tour

Meet at the Information Stall for a guided walk of Northey Street City Farm

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