Coastal Twist festival returns for 2023

NSW's Central Coast is set to shine with LGBTIQA+ pride again.

New South Wales’ Central Coast is set to fly the rainbow flag again with the much-anticipated third annual Coastal Twist LGBTIQA+ Arts & Culture Festival running from 26 September to 2 October.

As Sydney and Newcastle’s closest regional pride event, the festival has gone from strength to strength and has already enshrined itself as a unique and much loved “quirky Australiana” themed regional queer experience that’s not to be missed.

In what has become the Central Coast’s sparkliest week of the year, this October long weekend will see the region host seven days and nights of events packed with surprises and fun with both local acts and performers from across the country taking part in this year’s festival.

Organisers say this year’s event will deliver an experience at the intersection of fashion, celebrity, music and art.

Inclusion Means You

This year’s festival theme is Inclusion Means You which is a call for everyone across the region and beyond to join together in nurturing a culture of respect for a happier, healthier, and more welcoming Central Coast.

“In times as polarising as these, Inclusion Means You encapsulates the ethos that everyone deserves to be heard, valued, and welcomed with respect,” festival director Glitta Supernova said, ahead of the event.

“It’s very difficult to gaze around at mountains and trees in every direction, two steps from the beach and feel completely unmoved. The skyline is simply magical, particularly when accented by the festival’s entertainment, audiences, and art installations.

“We invite everyone to visit. Your next beach and bush staycation is only 75 minutes away from Sydney and across the Hunter and everyone is invited to pack up your glam bags and come join the seaside pleasures of Umina Beach, Woy Woy, Gosford and Ettalong Beach this October long weekend!”

Supernova said the festival welcomed, “all ages, all abilities and all our venues are fully accessible with Auslan at key events including our Coastie Carnie Fair day”.

What to expect

This year’s festival sees multiple Central Coast hubs coming alive with free and ticketed events to suit all ages and abilities with live music, film, dance parties, cabaret, youth and senior activations, an art exhibition and even bingo.

The shining jewel of the festival, the Coastie Carnie Fair Day on Sunday, 1 October features live music and performance artists with all day entertainment and a market, peaking with the now iconic Puparazzi Pooch Parade on the shores of Umina Beach.

“As the festival continues to grow, so does the programming and activations,” Supernova said.

“This year we are presenting live music acts such as Kira Puru, Cry Club, Iya Yves and Jacey Fox and direct from RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, last year’s winner, New Zealander Spanky Jackson, and from this year’s season Hollywould Star.

“The list continues with Australia’s favourite party starter DJ Charlie Villas, queer burlesque and boylesque Icons Jazida and Danny Golding plus there will also be more local and national LGBTIQA performing artists and musicians than you can point your magic wand at over this October long weekend!”

Proudly supported by the NSW Government, Coastal Twist was selected as one of a handful of festivals that have demonstrated early success, attracted good audience numbers, and demonstrated exemplary local engagement and a strong programming.

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