LOVE NOOSA: Noosa alive! festival ambassador Damien Anthony Rossi.
LOVE NOOSA: Noosa alive! festival ambassador Damien Anthony Rossi. contributed

DAR looking forward to Noosa alive!

DAMIEN Anthony Rossi (or DAR to his friends and fans) has been named Noosa alive! Ambassador for this year's festival from July 20-29.

He's a familiar face on Channel 7's The Great Day Out and socials editor for The Sunday Mail.

"I am also fortunate to have just been named The Star Entertainment Group's first-ever Ambassador in Queensland. The Star owns and operates The Star Sydney, The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane where my main focus will be. I am also in my third year as Brisbane Racing Club's Fashion Ambassador, a role I truly enjoy as I love the ponies as much as I love fashion.”

Q: How long have you been involved with Noosa alive?

I have been coming up from Brisbane for the festival for several years now, originally as the Noosa Long Weekend Festival and as of last year, as the inaugural Noosa alive! festival.

In the early days, I would come up for a couple nights or a long weekend during the festival. It was in 2014 that I was first able to actually base myself in Noosa for several days to take advantage of a number of the program highlights.

Q: What would be your perfect day in your role as Noosa alive! Ambassador?

My perfect day would be to rise early and start the day with a swim in the ocean. The weather always seems to be fantastic during the festival period but then it is Noosa.

Winter time in Noosa really is glorious, I really can't recall a rainy day in all the years I've been attending. After the swim, my partner and I would enjoy a leisurely breakfast either at Aromas or Cafe Le Monde on Hastings Street.

The brekky menus are so good and I can never get in enough people-watching in Noosa. I find it absolutely fascinating. Then I would round out the morning by taking in one of the literary event sessions and author Q&A's at Noosa Arts.

After that, I would head back to Hastings Street for the Duck Waddle on Hastings progressive lunch that takes in three of Noosa's most fabulous restaurants: Noosa Beach House at the Sofitel, Rococo and Sails.

This is always such a fun and social afternoon with beautiful food and wine.

Hastings is ideal for restaurant hopping - everything is so close.

Then a bit of an afternoon kip before an evening out at the festival, whether it'd be seeing a Queensland Ballet world premiere (I love how they are a part of the festival each year) or Maggie Dence starring in the Ensemble Theatre production of Marjorie Prime.

Of course, post-show, all paths will lead to Rococo which will be the unofficial after-hours venue. I love it there, such a good spot to take in the nocturnal action on Hastings and there'll be live entertainment each night until late.

This is where one gets to rub elbows and catch up with the wonderful festival artists and guests. It's such a fun vibe... like a backstage party every night!

Q: What are your top five picks this year?

Twisting my arm, I'd have to say:

1. Queensland Ballet's aLIVE! - a world premiere.

2. Carlotta Queen of the Cross

Given Carlotta is an absolute living legend, this will be so entertaining, so funny, so fascinating and with Michael Griffiths on piano this will be one of the standout offerings of the 2018 program.

3. Blake Bowden's Straight From The Hart concert

Blake was such a hit when he performed at the 2016 festival, it is so exciting to have him return. This is a definite 'don't miss'.

4. Marjorie Prime at The J and Disenchanted! The Musical at Noosa Arts Theatre

A bit of thought-provoking drama and outrageous hilarity, that'll do me!

5. Stephen Curry - Live, Intimate and Unqualified at Noosa Waterfront Restaurant. One of my fave Aussie actors at one of my fave Noosa restaurants!

And, of course, I'm looking forward to the Duck Waddle on Hastings progressive lunch and the colourful Street Party on closing night! Those will be two of the most social events of the festival.


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