Over 11 huge days in July Ipswich City will be taken over by music, comedy, arts, exhibitions, circus, projection, culture, technology, collaboration and discussion. SPARK Ipswich celebrates the people, places, arts and culture of Ipswich from July 6-16. While there are some ticketed events, there are also a lot of low or no-cost things you can do – so bring the family and get ready to have some fun!
Spark After Dark
When the sun goes down SPARK After Dark comes to life showcasing projections, light activations, music and performance. Gather your friends and family and explore deLight and pixel, enjoy live music and experiences at local venues.
At the Ipswich Civic Centre see Mel Buttle, Estampa, Laura Frank and more. At Banshees Bar and Artspace there’s SPARK Mofo, songwriting for mental health, life drawing, open mic nights and the premiere of Falling in Slow Motion. At Studio 188 see Ipswich has comic talent and Eddie Ray: Silence of the Jams.
Date and time: July 6-16, 6pm-9pm
Cost: Light activations and music at D’Arcy Doyle Place are free. Admission to events at private venues vary.
Using light, projection and contemporary art installations to activate vacant shop fronts and non-traditional art spaces, Inhabited Ipswich revitalises the urban landscape of Ipswich Central at night.
Four local artists recently undertook a 10-week mentorship program led by established contemporary artist and educator Dr Kellie O’Dempsey resulting in new works for Spark Festival 2023 – inspired by the idea of inhabiting spaces by local artists.
Date and time: July 6-16, 6pm-10pm
Chart-topping hip-hop superstar Allday headlines SPARK’s takeover of the YMCA Springfield Central Community Centre, for the inaugural all-ages music festival, BRIGHTDAZE.
Featuring two stages, BRIGHTDAZE will showcase a stacked line-up of musicians and DJs with Allday joined by Hope D, GLVES, Paulina, DJ Kritty, Scalymoth, Neesha Alexander and more!
There’ll also be the chance to unleash your inner DJ with workshops held throughout the day.
Date and time: July 8, 11am-6pm
Have a listen to the playlist below!
Ipswich has comic talent
Comedian Anthony Lamond will teach the craft of stand up comedy in this one day workshop, before participants will then perform to a room of strangers, friends and peers!
The workshop is free but registrations are essential and tickets to see the show are $10.
Date and time: Workshop: July 8, 10am-5pm. Show: 7pm-8pm
World of Music Ipswich (WOMI) stars a jam packed lineup with music from across the globe. This one-day music festival, held on Main St at Orion Springfield Central, showcases and celebrates the vibrancy of Ipswich and South East Queensland’s culturally and linguistically diverse community. It is bursting with life, light and colour – featuring multicultural food and artisan market stalls.
Date and time: July 9, 9am-4pm
Little Day Out
Little Day Out is Ipswich’s signature children’s music and arts festival. With a focus on sustainability, Little Day Out is bursting with music, hands-on art experiences, food and roving entertainment. Headlining this year’s festival, Bunny Racket creates a sound that brings all generations together in rock ‘n’ roll harmony. With a line-up featuring members of The Vines, Goons Of Doom and Wolfmother, Bunny Racket strikes a (loud) chord for all of us that pine for a time where being a kid meant endless freedom.
Children can sing, dance and play over two sessions 9am-11.30am or 1pm-3.30pm. Entry is $5 and includes a bucket hat.
Date and time: July 16, 9am-3.30pm
Art exhibitions at the Ipswich Art Gallery, the Ipswich Community Gallery and the Queens Park Environmental Education Centre are a key feature of this year’s SPARK Festival.
Over at the Ipswich Art Gallery see Rauschenberg and Johns – which draws upon the National Gallery’s Kenneth Tyler Collection of prints, with works by both Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns produced between 1967 and 1973; Make some Noise – a brand new exhibition for children to explore everyday musical concepts through hands on and open ended activities; and Architectural Layers: New work by Grant Quinn – his first solo exhibition documenting the aesthetic reverence in the work of renowned Ipswich Architect George Brockwell Gill, through photography.
At the Ipswich Community Gallery a NAIDOC Poster Exhibition will celebrate NAIDOC’s rich history and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art evolution.
And at the Queens Park Environmental Education Centre the Little Things Big Things: Interactive Installation For Children will feature large-scale artworks from the children’s book Little Things Big Things, by local artist Eva Fritz.
Date and time: July 6-16
If you’re looking for places to eat while the festival is on read this story and places to stay see our accommodation page.