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SPARK Ipswich celebrates city’s people, places, arts and culture

Artwork by Sally Harrison shown on St Mary's Church as part of deLight 2021.

An ambitious program of cabaret, culture, collaboration and community is about to SPARK into life, as the 2021 SPARK Ipswich festival gets underway this week.

Featuring multiple venues, art forms, and disciplines, and designed to be COVID safe, the reimagined Ipswich Festival will see artists and collaborations as diverse as mathematically generated light projections to cutting edge experimental cabaret performed across the city, with many events free to attend.

Mayor Teresa Harding said SPARK Ipswich celebrated the diversity, creativity and community that made the city so special.

“Ipswich is a city with a rich and diverse cultural community, ranging from brass bands, internationally recognised leaders in cabaret, folk music, and artists local and international,” Mayor Harding said.

“SPARK Ipswich is here and ready to tell our story through a tapestry of music, art, light, and community.

“There is something for everyone, from SPARK After Dark which includes three world-class light installations in our city centre to Little Day Out at Ripley – Ipswich’s first contemporary music and arts festival designed specifically for children, featuring Queensland music legends Regurgitator.”

Mayor Harding encouraged anyone attending SPARK Ipswich events to adhere to COVID-19 restrictions.

“The festival has been purposely designed to be COVID Safe, with many events being held outdoors, and allocated seating for indoor events,” Mayor Harding said.

“SPARK includes 91 events across 11 days, and I encourage the community to enjoy the fun on offer while observing social distancing and current COVID-19 restrictions.”

Events running across the festival’s first week include:

SPARK After Dark: 8-18 July

Three major light installations within walking distance of each other in the Ipswich CBD.

The works of 11 local artists will be displayed like never before as part of deLight when they are projected from 6.30pm each night onto the iconic St Mary’s Church.

Council’s new administration building in Nicholas Street will light up with artworks created by equations for Pixel.

The Bremer River will become centre stage for Refraction – an art, light and water installation defined by the refraction of light through liquid, creating an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colour.

Refraction is a fully immersive experience with viewers encouraged to dress warm and bring their digital device and headphones to experience the soundtrack of the installation.

Lincoln Austin: The Space Between Us: 8-18 July

Art and audiences converge at Ipswich Art Gallery to celebrate the exquisite geometry of Lincoln Austin.

Splash Test Dummies: 8 July

The Dummies are back at Ipswich Civic Centre with some splish splashing circus set to drown you in tears of laughter. 

SPARK on Tour presents Chores: 8-11 July

SPARK Ipswich hits the road taking the festival to small halls across the region with performances by Chores and circus workshops.

Waghorn to West: 10 July

Ipswich’s first multi-venue indie live music crawl. Sixteen Queensland artists across eight unique sessions in four live music venues between Waghorn and West streets, along Brisbane Street.

Jimeoin – Ramble On!: 10 July

A stalwart of Australian comedy and all-round likeable rogue, comedian Jimeoin presents his new stand-up show Ramble On! at the Ipswich Civic Centre.

The full SPARK Ipswich program and event information is available at

SPARK Ipswich is delivered through the support of the following partners:

Foundation Partners: Ipswich City Council and The Queensland Government; Major Partners: Tourism and Events Queensland, Ripley Town Centre, Riverlink Shopping Centre and Stockland Providence; Support Partners: Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre (BEMAC), Ipswich Junior Grammar School, QMusic, and Quest Springfield Central; Media Partners: Bishopp, 9News Queensland and The Queensland Times; Programming Partners: Ipswich Art Gallery, Studio 188, Ipswich Civic Centre, Ipswich Catholic Community and Ipswich Libraries.

SPARK Ipswich is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

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