Two days are not enough to do everything this weekend
IT'S only spring but the festive season has arrived on the Sunshine Coast with more events on this weekend than you can poke a guitar, a fringed top and a wristband at.
The second annual Maroochy Music and Visual Arts Festival at the old Horton Park Golf Course in Maroochydore from 10.30am today is likely to be the biggest crowd puller.
About 5500 punters took to the fairways for last year's inaugural festival despite some damp weather and the festival is likely to build on its success this year.
Matt Corby will headline the music side of the festival while on the visual arts front, Amanda Parer, who delighted with five giant illuminated bunnies last year, is back with five giant humanoids this time.
A new festival debuts this weekend further up the coastline at Coolum.
The Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival, founded by former Sunshine Coast Daily journalist Wendy O'Hanlon, brings together writers of all persuasions - journalists, photographers, poets, performers and musicians - in a program of discussion, performance, storytelling and displays.
The festival was opened last night by Janet DeNeefe, co-founder of the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, who inspired Ms O'Hanlon to launch a festival on the Coast.
Today's program includes 80-year-old Aboriginal poet and storyteller Uncle Herb Wharton, Ms DeNeefe, scientist and environmentalist Professor Ian Lowe, Indonesian authors, children's book writers and illustrators, a playwriting discussion panel, and workshops on the Gubbi Gubbi language and turning poetry into song.
The town of Mooloolah has put its own mark on the festival map with MooFest, a family music festival which will run in the Mooloolah Valley recreation grounds from 11am, featuring Coast indie-pop wonders Selaphonic, X-Factor finalist and country music artist Caitlyn Shadbolt, and stunt bike riders.
Further south, the Hoodoo Gurus, Baby Animals, John Stevens and The Black Sorrows will play at a huge '80s festival, Sandstone Rocks, at the Sandstone Point Hotel, on the mainland side of the Bribie Island bridge, today.
This weekend is also the culmination of the 10-day HORIZON festival of art and culture on the Coast.
Events, some of which are free, include: Fun with The Caloundra Arts Centre today and tomorrow; Three Forces of the Soul combined music-healing-art event at the Eumundi Imperial Hotel artspace today and workshop tomorrow; international artist in residence workshop at Yaroomba Design House today and tomorrow; Symphonic Classics at St Peter's Anglican Church, Maroochydore, today; unFRAMED murals and installation art in Jack Morgan Park, Coolum, from today until September 17; Cello Dreaming HORIZONS at the University of the Sunshine Coast gallery tonight; She Melts performance at the Maleny Indoor Activity Centre tomorrow night; Dawn Awakening at Stumer's Creek from 5am tomorrow; Nandjimadji Pop up Gallery at the Coolum library tomorrow; Dangerous Song workshop and concert at the Old Ambo Station, Nambour, tomorrow.
The weekend is a big one for sport as well as culture on the Coast.
The Sunshine Coast football - the one with the round ball - grand finals will be played out from 9am today at the Sunshine Coast Stadium, Bokarina, culminating with the men's grand final between Kawana and Woombye tonight.
In basketball, the Brisbane Bullets will take on the Australian Under 19 side at the University of the Sunshine Coast stadium from 1pm.
The Sunshine Coast junior rugby union grand finals will be at the Sunshine Coast Stadium tomorrow and the senior grand finals between Noosa and Caloundra will be at Bicentennial Dr, Sunshine Beach, starting with reserve grade at 1.14pm and A-grade at 3.15pm.
Tickets: Maroochy Music and Visual Arts festival $110; Sunshine Coast Readers and Writers Festival $85 one day or $160 two days, with discounts for pensioners and students; MooFest is entry by donation, Sandstone Rocks $93.65; Sunshine Coast Football grand finals $5 adults and $2.50 students and pensioners; Bullets vs under 19s basketball adults $25, children $15; rugby union junior grand finals, adults $10, students and pensioners $5, children under 12 free; rugby union senior grand final, adults $10, children free; HORIZON festival tickets vary, see www.horizonfestival.com.au.