From the blog...
Gemfest is an indoor festival of two halves. During the day it is a family event, with free entry but some small charges for some of the activities.
Last years day time events included acoustic performances in the cafe bar from the talented students from singing school Vocal Arts, providing a tuneful backdrop for the other activities in this area. The “Prize Every Time” stall was particularly popular, children loved the fact they genuinely won something EVERY time!! Over 30 other prizes could be won including Easter Eggs, beauty sets, toys and wine in the prize draw or at the auction.
The cafe bar was open and food was available all afternoon.
In the main auditorium, there was a variety of stalls including local crafts. The fabulous cakes from Emma and Amy completely sold out! Kids of all ages had the opportunity to get their faces painted by Party Paints, a regular Gemfest supporter, or watch Simon Croft create lots of exciting things with balloons.
The upstairs Studios were open for workshops where children were invited to use the arts and crafts materials to create their own easter themed masterpieces or enter the colouring competition to win Easter Eggs, donated by local supermarkets. For most of the morning the day the room was packed and families emerged with smiling faces and donning colourful easter bonnets.
Free Street Dance workshops were available for all ages, led by Hollie Da’Bell from Hip Hop Fuzion and Spin City set up their poles in the drama studio and ran 2 pole dancing taster sessions.
For the really little ones there was heaps to do too. In the Black Box there were regular performances throughout the afternoon alternating between Storytelling from resident pirate Maddie and French lessons for preschoolers from Tonton the tortoise and his assistant Heidi! Upstairs Amanda from Pyjama Drama had groups of under 7’s singing, dancing and pretending away to their hearts content!
There was a wonderful atmosphere throughout the whole day. It was heartwarming to see families getting involved in all the activities together. Everyone had a smile on their face and with so much to do there was no time to be bored!! At 4pm the family oriented events finished to make way for the second half of Gemfest. The evening was an all ticket event starting from 6pm.
Opening the evening’s entertainment was live music in the bar from a few local teenage singer songwriters, 14 year old Arthur Burrow blew the crowd away with his amazing talent.
In the Main Auditorium, Supenik and Raining Globe rocked out the start of the evening, followed by upbeat and funky covers from The Fabulous Beaver Brothers who drew in a good crowd and got everybody dancing!! Next, local battle of the bands 2014 winners Superfuzz showed everybody why they won!! And topping off the evening was AudioRazor (now The Iscatels) a live reggae band fusing dub,ska and drum and bass into an eclectic mix of original and heartfelt songs.
The Voodoo lounge provided the venue for an impressive line up too, including local treasure Andy Watts and London singer/songwriter Antonio Lulic accompanied by John Parker (Nizlopi) and his famous double bass and popular local duo Sound Of Sirens topping of the bill with their beautiful harmonies and foot stomping tunes on the acoustic stage.
For those who wanted a break from the music, there was live comedy throughout the evening in the Black Box from The Comedy Suits with their quirky sketches and random wit and for the second year running, Improperly stole the show with their quick witted and utterly hilarious improvisation games.
Also wandering around the crowds was Dom from Exmouth Magic, who was stunning people with his impressive Close Up Magic. The talk of the evening was Claude The Comedy Waiter who was playing tricks on innocent bystanders. People were genuinely unsure if he was a guest or a performer!
As the various stages and rooms drew to a close, Local DJ Lee H and friends closed the event with an impressive set of uplifting house and techno beats.
All in all it was a day filled with fun, laughter, music, dancing, friendship, inspiration and heaps to do. Just like any good festival…..but without the mud!!!