BONDI SKIES SET TO LIGHT UP FOR 38TH FESTIVAL OF THE WINDS Words Madeleine Gray Picture Paul Watson
ome people might say that turning 38 isn’t a big deal. The organisers of this year’s Festival of the Winds at Bondi Beach clearly missed that memo. This year, the festival is returning for the 38th time, bigger and better than ever before – and with an Eastern Suburbs Roosters 1950s themed bar in the Bondi Pavilion, no less! If you’ve got a head for figures, you’ve probably worked out that the first Festival was held in 1978. Back then the festival simply comprised of a small group of local kite enthusiasts who had lobbied the authorities to hold a community kite-flying event on Bondi promenade. Despite there only being around 50 kites in the air, the event captured the public’s imagination. There is something really beautiful about seeing a sky dotted with colourful kites writhing flamboyantly in the wind. This year there will be more than 50 kites in the air - a few hundred more, in fact. And about 50,000 spectators will make their way to Bondi to watch them, if last year’s stats are anything to go by. Waverley Mayor Sally Betts said she was looking forward to watch-
26 The Beast | September 2016
ing the amazing kite-flyers and enjoying the wide range of activities on offer including song and dance, aerobic acrobats and festival foods. “I look forward to celebrating this exciting occasion with the community and tourists,” she said. There’s no reason not to be excited. The Australian Kiteflyers Society will be bringing champion kite-flyers from England, New Zealand, Germany and across Australia to battle it out on the golden shores of Bondi Beach. Get ready to see kite constructions and skills like you’ve never seen before. Kite-flying all-stars on the line-up this year include Volker Hoberg from Germany, Carl Robertshaw from England and Ricky Baker from Victoria. If you’re after a tipple, or simply want an excuse to wear your best Marilyn Monroe-inspired getup, make your way to the Easts Festival Bar at the Bondi Pavilion, which will be transformed into a 1950s extravaganza to commemorate the Sydney Roosters’ first home game. Here you’ll be able to sip on a ‘Flying Rooster’ cocktail as you browse the memorabilia and vintage outfits.
The Festival of the Winds is also increasingly becoming a celebration of Waverley Council’s wonderfully culturally diverse population. If you’ve never tried cuisine from the Czech Republic, Malaysia or Spain, now’s your chance. You can also see Sri Lankan, Maori, Chinese, Indigenous Australian and Cook Islands dance acts at the Festival Stage and lament your lack of dancing skills. We know what you’re all thinking: “What this festival is missing is acrobatics, and also a walking art installation.” Well you can chill out, because the Aerialize acrobatic performance troupe will be performing amazing gravitydefying feats in Bondi Park every 15 minutes, and internationally acclaimed Bronte artist Marina DeBris will be showcasing her recycled fashions on models gallivanting around the space. Where else would you want to be on a sunny September Sunday in Sydney? Head to Bondi Beach on September 11 for a spectacularly Instagrammable (is that a word?) day of colourful kite flying action.
The September 2016 edition of The Beast featuring Richie Vaculik...