Come Alive! with Noosa Alive 2021

Image source: IN Noosa Magazine

Be inspired by imaginative one-of-a-kind cultural adventures and premiere events during 10 days of comedy, theatre, music, literature, ballet, cabaret, feasts, films, beats and sand-between-your-toes, writes Helen Flanagan. 

The multi-arts NOOSA alive! Festival, now technically in its 19th year after a COVID-19-induced pause in 2020, has retained its philosophy of appealing to everyone with affordable tickets, the best talent, and stunning locations.

Expect a few favourites alongside vibrant new and quirky events, including a totally out-of-the-box world premiere. 

Ian Mackellar, who was first appointed festival director in 2008, has returned after a short absence and orchestrated an outstanding festival program, assuring something for everyone and celebrating the return of beach events!

As is tradition, the Queensland premiere of David Williamson’s latest masterpiece is part of the program. Alas, Up for Grabs is no longer up for grabs as it has sold-out! Let that be a lesson for you to book your tickets now! 

You can still catch David at the David Williamson AO 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner – an elegant affair at View by Matt Golinski featuring a string quartet with award-winning cellist Louise King, a lavish 3-course dinner with premium wines and then after dinner it is up close and personal with David as he shares excerpts from his highly anticipated, no-holds barred autobiography Memoirs.

Hitting the high notes and keeping audiences on the edge of their seats will be Cirque Bon Bon. Diverse technical dancers who have toured the world using comedy and acrobatic skill in a spine-tingling spectacle with mind-bending contortion and death-defying feats of strength and precision for one night only! 

From the beautiful mind of Clint Bolster, and sure to be the talk of the town comes the world premiere of High Tea with Booff where you can share stories and biscuits and pour out your heart over a cup of tea. This immersive work of comic theatre with only 24 sessions for groups of 10 promises to be something between a visit with royalty and popping by to see your strangest and most favourite aunt. An unforgettably dark and sweet slice of Tim Burton-esque brilliance.

Queensland Ballet returns with the gifted Jette Parker Young Artists joining featured company dancers to delight in two breath-taking pieces including new work by resident choreographer Natalie Weir and the chance for an onstage conversation with Artistic Director
Li Cunxin AO

The Business Forum Lunch at Noosa Springs includes 2-courses, drinks, guest speaker David Koch and Q&A panellists including Daniel Gschwind, CEO Queensland Tourism; Michael Knox, Chief Economist & Director of Strategy at Morgans Financial Limited; and Michael van Baarle, ABEL Energy. 

Rococo Restaurant is hosting De-Lovely Duck on Hastings Street with two courses by executive chef Lance McKenzie and matched with superb wines and entertainment featuring jazz legend, George Washingmachine playing violin and vocals, alongside pianist John Reeves. Cole Porter is on the menu too so no doubt it will be de-lightful, de-licious, de-lovely! 

A Concert Spectacular  stars inimitable flautist Jane Rutter, 60 musicians from the Noosa Orchestra and a 50-person Oriana Sunshine Coast Choir led by conductors Antoni Bonetti AM and Fay Baker OAM. Performances include Beethoven’s Hallelujah and Offenbach’s Can-Can; to Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera and even Abba’s Dancing Queen. 

If side-splitting, unfiltered, stand-up comedy is more your thing, get your laughing gear around Akmal’s latest Unhinged, Unfiltered & Unleashed.
No topic is left untouched as he spins comedy gold from his hilarious and unique view of the world. 

International cabaret diva Meow Meow returns with her extra special brand of subversive and sublime entertainment which has hypnotised, inspired, and seduced audiences worldwide. Named “cabaret diva of the highest order” by the New York Post, this will sell-out.

Gympie’s favourite Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival brings a hand-picked selection of charming short films to make you laugh, cry and grin for less than the cost of a standard movie ticket. Stick around for interviews with filmmakers after the show with films covering many genres that are ground-breaking, edgy, inspiring, or downright hilarious; so long as they beat with a good, strong heart. 

If you go down to The Woods on Sunday, you are in for a big surprise! Picnic in the Park promises a fun-filled morning for children and heaps of photo opps for parents and friends. Entertainment includes a petting zoo, unicorn-pony rides, face painting, storytelling, dancing, roving characters and lots more. BYO picnic brunch. 

Jazz in the Woods takes care of the afternoon blues with three hours of smokin’ hot contemporary, gypsy and traditional jazz featuring ten of Australia’s top jazz musicians, in conjunction with Noosa Jazz Club. 

Wanting more? The Noosa Main Beach Evie Networks Marquee is a mini-festival in itself with live music, literary events and something a bit different– read on!


Razzle Dazzle Cocktail of Sounds on Main Beach

From Opera under the stars and popular bands to literati and a splash or two of beverages to suit, it is toes-in-the-sand time under a stunning clear-roof marquee for four days only in the Noosa Main Beach Evie Networks Marquee. 

Ticket prices have been kept affordable to cover entry to the beautifully-styled beach marquee and world-class entertainment. Festival-goers can then purchase drinks at the beach bar run by Boiling Pot Brewery and featuring the best local breweries and distillers along with a selection of fine wines from Nelson Wine Co. A food van and options to pre-purchase a grazing box will ensure that good food accompanies the good vibes, which will roll in like high tide! 

Opening night will host the Noosa Starlight Opera with Metropolitan Opera soprano Rachelle Durkin and tenor Kang Wang accompanied by John Woods igniting emotions of joy and heartache with opera classics, duets and musical theatre.  

On a literary note, crime writer Candice Fox offers an insight into her life around prisons thanks to her parole officer father, in her eighth and latest book, The Chase. 

A change of pace and it’s time to put feet-in-the-sand, drink-in-hand-dancing with the inaugural Seaside Vibes Music Festival kicking off at 3.30pm Friday and Saturday for five hours of live music as the sun sets over Noosa’s Main Beach.

Bohemian rocker Felicity Lawless will open proceedings with a journey of sound and emotion, characterised by a flashy, Spanish guitar, soaring vocal melodies and hypnotic rhythms; Forrest Run will lay down atmospheric beds with massive hip-hop beats with vocalist Ayla’s saccharine melodies providing the cherry on top; local Duo The Brains Trust will combine luscious soul, glistening vocals and hip-hop attitude into beats that punch out of any sound system with a fusion of deep bass, ambience and classic soul showmanship; and closing out the party will be one of country’s most exciting live acts, Tijuana Cartel with a concoction of multi-layered grooves, splashes of Middle Eastern vocals, lilting Moby-esque soundscapes, Flamenco and slide guitar, trumpet to fuse live and electronic world beats and percussion. 

Saturday will start with acoustic folk artist Demi Casha who will combine her heartfelt writing with 70s folk and psychedelic rock; Beauty and The Beats will create an explosion of hip-hop and R&B that features original soulful songs, slam poetry, beatbox and remixed covers enriched by the quartet’s Islander heritage; Nattali Rize & The Black Sistaz is an electric global powerhouse reggae band with rich vocals, tuff rhythms and inspiring lyrics that deliver a positive, interactive, raw and powerful performance; and Chocolate Strings will bring down the house with thumping soul, funk and regge-inspired hits. 

Sundays are for celebrations and commemorations. Join five-time ARIA award-winning artist Katie Noonan and acclaimed guitarist Ben Hauptmann in a nostalgic journey to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Joni Mitchell’s landmark album Blue. Special guest Jo Davies will deliver sweet soulful sounds to set the scene for a stunning and sublime, seaside session!

Noosa Alive David Williamson

NOOSA alive! 2021 Program

Download 4 page program as a PDF

De-Lovely Duck on Hastings
Thursday 15 July – Rococo Noosa, Hastings St, 12noon-3pm, from $125
Delightfully duck-flavoured lunch with complementary wines and world-class entertainment featuring Jazz Legend George Washingmachine on violin and vocals and pianist John Reeves playing Cole Porter’s hits – de-lovely indeed!  

Queensland Ballet
Thursday 15 + Friday 16 July – The J Noosa, 7.30pm-9.30pm, from $89
Queensland Ballet will reignite your passion for dance with two exclusive performances by Choreographer Natalie Weir and the chance for an onstage conversation with Artistic Director Li Cunxin AO.

Business Forum with David Koch
Friday 16 July – Noosa Springs Golf & Spa Resort, Noon–4pm, from $135
Noosa Chamber of Commerce co-hostsa Business Forum with David Koch and Guest Panellists. This insightful event includes a two-course lunch, drinks and Q&A panel focusing on Small Business and coming out of COVID.

Concert Spectacular!
Saturday 17 July – Tewantin State School Main Hall, 2.30pm-4.30pm, from $56
This orchestral spectacular will feature international flautist Jane Rutter, 60 musicians from the Noosa Orchestra with a 50-person choir led by Oriana Sunshine Coast Choir Conductors Antoni Bonetti AM and Fay Baker OAM.

Picnic in the Park
Sunday 18 July – Noosa Woods, Hastings St, 9.30am-11.30am, from $17
BYO picnic for a fun-filled morning with Unicorn-Pony rides, Dancing, Petting Zoo, Story Telling, Hula Hoop, Circus Workshops and surprise characters!

Sunday 18 July – Noosa Woods, Hastings St, 12.30pm-3.30pm, from $36 adults; $21 under 15 years, kids under 2 years are free.
BYO picnic and enjoy contemporary, gypsy and traditional jazz from ten of Australia’s top Jazz musicians.

David Williamson AO Dinner
Monday 19 July – Peppers Noosa Resort and Villas, 6pm-9pm, from $230.
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of David Williamson’s incredible career in Theatre, Film and Television with a three-course dinner, premium beverages and a superb string quartet featuring cellist Louise King. After dinner, get up close and personal as David shares excerpts and insights from his highly-anticipated autobiography, Memoirs. 

Wednesday 21 until Saturday 24 July, Lions Park, Noosa Pde. Multiple shows, intimate 10 people per show, daily from 4.15pm, last session 8pm, from $60.
This World Premiere invites intimate groups of ten to share stories, biscuits and laughs as they pour their hearts out over tea with their new and quirky Tim Burton-esque best friend, BOOFF.

AKMAL – Unfiltered & Unleashed!
Wednesday 21 July – The J Noosa, 8pm, from $55
Hilarious and unfiltered stand-up comedy at its side-splitting best! No topic is left untouched in this 18+ event.

Thursday 22 July – The J Noosa, 8.15pm-9.30pm, from $65
Subversive, sublime and oh-so-talented! This Cabaret Diva has hypnotised, inspired and seduced audiences worldwide. A Noosa favourite, tickets will sell out quickly!

Heart of Gold Short Films
Friday 23 July – The J Noosa, 8pm, from $20 Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival
Enjoy a heartwarming and hand-picked selection of short films covering many genres and paired with post-screening interviews with the filmmakers.

Cirque Bon-Bon
Saturday 24 July – The J Noosa, two sessions, 4.15pm and 8.15pm, from $79
Astounding! Spell-Binding! Spectacular!  Be captivated and mesmerised by globally-acclaimed circus artists led by the comedic Mario Queen of the Circus. 

noosa alive seaside vibes

Seaside Vibes

Download 4 page program as a PDF

Evie Networks Marquee, Noosa Main Beach. Enjoy feet-in-the-sand, under-the-stars entertainment in an all-weather, clear-roof marquee with the Boiling Pot Beach Bar featuring local beers, gins and fine wines by Nelson Wine Co and an onsite food van.

Noosa Starlight opera
Thursday 15 July, 6pm – 8.30pm, from $59
Relax on the beach as soprano Rachelle Durkin, Tenor Kang Wang and Pianist John Woods ignite your emotions with the joy and heartache of opera classics, duets and musical theatre under the stars.

Candice Fox – Author Event
Friday 16 July 12noon–2pm, from $37
Join award-winning crime writer Candice Fox as she opens up about her childhood, her journey as a crime writer and her latest book, The Chase.

Friday 16 July, 3.30pm – 8.30pm, from $59
Good vibes roll in like high tides at the inaugural Seaside Vibes Music Festival! Get your feet-in-the-sand with sunset grooves from Tijuana Cartel, The Brains Trust, Forrest Run and Felicity Lawless!  

Saturday 17 July, 3.30pm-8.30pm, from $59
Seaside Vibes returns with more audible bliss starring Nattali Rize & The Black Sistaz, Chocolate Strings, Beauty & The Beats plus Demi Casha.

Sunday 18 July –12noon-3.30pm, from $52
Commemorate the 50th anniversary of Joni Mitchell’s landmark album, Blue, with the sublime Katie Noonan and globally-acclaimed guitarist Ben Hauptmann with special guest Jo Davies to open the show.

in noosa sip n paint

DON’T MISS!! Sunset Sip n’ Paint Noosa Main Beach, Noosa ALIVE!

IN Noosa Magazine X Frida’s Paint n’ Sip TAKEOVER Noosa ALIVE!
Sunday 18 July, 5pm-8pm
Three hours of fun with your feet in the sand as you sip, paint and groove to the tunes of DJ Niki Dé Saint, enjoy a Matt Golinski VIP Grazing Box and drinks package including fine wines, local gin and local beers. 

Tickets: $129 earlybird bookings by 1st July; $145 until sold out.

Where: Noosa ALIVE Beach Marquee, Noosa Main Beach


About the Author /

Ali spends her days clicking away and creating print and digital designs for a variety of coast businesses and brings more than 15 years of print publishing experience. When she’s not at her computer, you can find her outdoors with her husband and three kids.


  • caroline edginton
    Jun, 2021

    Hello Ali

    i just love your work and your lateral approach to combine creative with business so successfully – thank you for your great work with NOOSA alive!

  • Renee
    Jun, 2021

    Ali, this program is amazing for NOOSA alive! Thank you. Such a tight timeframe and you turned it around effortlessly. Well done and what an asset you are to have in our local, #noosaisalive

  • Johanne Wright
    Jun, 2021

    This program is one of the very best – cannot wait for it all to start!

  • Renee
    Jun, 2021

    Thank you Helen Flanagan for these magic words, You have summed up the NOOSA alive! program so well. I am excited and can’t wait to attend the events. A wonderful offering for the community keeping arts, culture and entertainment alive in Noosa, well done “In”support InNoosa Magazine!. (wink)

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