Alice Springs Beanie Festival
The 2019 event will be held at the Araluen Cultural Precinct, 61 Larapinta Drive, Araluen, Alice Springs from Friday 28th June to Monday, 1st July.
What is now the annual Beanie Festival began in 1997 as a ‘beanie party’ organised by Adi Dunlop. It has now grown into a four-day festival of colour, craft and friendship, with a beanie central marketplace, beanie-making workshops and a beanie exhibition at the Araluen Cultural Precinct.
The Beanie Festival is a celebration of the humble beanie, with creativity and storytelling by indigenous artists and beanie makers from across the country and around the world. It is a time for sharing with old and new friends, who have become part of the ever growing ‘beanie family’.
The festival brings together people from all parts of the globe, to work and learn together in a sharing environment of likeminded ‘beanieologists’.
The Beanie Festival has positioned Alice Springs as the Beanie Capital of the World.
As a community arts event the Beanie Festival has provided opportunities for artists from remote Indigenous communities and the wider community to make, exhibit and sell beanies.
Since the the early years, a group of friends has ran the festival on a volunteer basis. The core group has been expanded by a committed band of 120 volunteers, who trek to Alice Springs each June, putting their hands up to assist.
In 2018, 500 beanie makers from around the world sent 6646 handmade creations to Beanie Central and 195 exquisite beanies to the National Beanie Exhibition.n Visitors bought more than 4600 beanies over the four days, breaking records of past years.
Under the Big Beanie, the Friday night extravaganza highlights the winning beanies and features a smorgasbord of food stalls and entertainment. Outrageous beanies are always welcome!
During the Festival, there are opportunities to learn new skills in ‘pop up’ workshops. You can learn to make a crotchet beanie or acquire skills from indigenous artists to make a needle-felted beanie.
Volunteers are encouraged to help at the Beanie Festival, as beanie minders, gallery attendants and tea shop and cake shop attendants. There are also sit-down roles as front door meet and greet people, and back and side door minders. Each shift is about two hours long and volunteers score a yummy cheese toastie and a drink at the end of a shift.
If you are interested, please call Jo Nixon (Chief Beanieologist) on 0408 436 928
News article by Deborah Everson White (Vice Chair – Alice Springs Beanie Festival)