It is not often that the organiser of a new festival calls it “daggy”, but Jonathan Llewellyn has unabashedly declared the new Blue Mountains pinkFEST a delightfully uncool alternative.
The idea for a Blue Mountains festival has been talked about for a while, but it finally comes to fruition this June 11, as locals, tourists and weary Sydneysiders are invited to participate in 10 days of gay and lesbian dances, art events and picnics.
Taking place at the same time as Sydney’s Pride Festival, Llewellyn told Sydney Star Observer pinkFEST would offer “something very different from what you might find in the city”.
“You can’t go bushwalking in the middle of the city. But there’s also a different community feeling up here,” he said.
“There’s no attitude, no pretensions. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing. You can just relax and be who you are. And there’s something delightfully daggy about going to the Blackheath community hall for a disco and talent quest.”
The Queen’s Birthday long weekend has long been a period of pink celebration in the Mountains — the annual Queen’s Birthday Ball has been running for nearly 30 years — but this will be the first time all the events will come together under one umbrella.
Events to look forward to include a Bent Art exhibition in Wentworth Falls, a dance and talent quest organised by the Three Sisters Social Group, picnics in Glenbrook and a pool party for gay and lesbian youths.
“It can be a bit of an underground community here, so we hope pinkFEST creates some more visibility,” Llewellyn said.
“It will be particularly good for young people to see that there is a community here and they don’t have to flee to the city to meet people.
“For the older community as well, who don’t necessarily want to travel to the city all the time, it’s about being about being able to be proud of who they are, in their own community.”
info: PinkFEST runs from June 11-20. For more information and updates on events, visit www.pinkmountains.com.au/?pinkfest