Crowds attending the new look KISS Arts Festival in the stunning harbourfront location judged it a great success, saying they would spread the word for next year.
Organisers Tamara Campbell and David Evans were overjoyed by the success. “The Festival is run on a shoestring budget and we still made it work,” they said. “We can’t wait to see what we could do with some money behind us.
“We are very grateful for the support we receive, but to grow the Festival and keep it a free event we will need to increase our budget significantly.
“These types of family friendly events are very popular in Europe, there are only a couple in this country. We look forward to building KISS into the best one in the Southern Hemisphere, whilst still letting it be driven by local needs.”
The Festival brought to Kiama performers of a caliber normally not seen outside of a major city, while at the same time allowing itself to be uniquely ‘Kiama’.
The new harbourside location not only highlighted the natural beauty of the area, but allowed the water to be part of the show.
The inaugural Raft Race saw seven boats competing for three prizes and the parade featuring lanterns created from a community workshop also gave an idea of what the Festival can grow into. For example, it is the hope of the organisers to have hundreds of lanterns made and released next year as schools and in the other arts community get involved.
Tamara and Dave call the KISS Arts Festival their love project, as they spend months organizing it without being paid. “To see it make so many people from the community happy makes it all worth while,” they say.
Their effort is even more extraordinary given that during this time Dave was diagnosed with bowel cancer and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. Few who saw him buzzing around the Festival would have suspected this was the case.
They would also like to credit all the other volunteers who helped them and their hard working committee, “because without their support, it would not have happened”.
They are eternally grateful for the financial support of the sponsors who have grasped their vision early – Ray White Kiama, Eyestore Kiama and Kiama Council.