Like most gay and lesbian artists, performance icon P.B. Hobb has donated an incredible amount of his time and talent to community events. Hobb founded the stilt-walking troupe Icarus and over the years he has created amazing productions high above the awe-struck crowds.

The veteran performer has a resum?o be proud of. His appearances at Mardi Gras parties and parades, the Olympics Opening Ceremony and that spectacular display on top of the Opera House are just some of the shows Hobb has entertained queer Sydney with recently.

So when word spread around the artistic campfire that Hobb had been diagnosed with stomach cancer, it didn’t take long for the creative community to come up with a fabulous fundraiser to assist his treatment.

Fartistes is one of those grassroots ideas that has exploded into a huge event. Billed as a performance extravaganza and auction, the night will be hosted by Vanessa Wagner to the sounds of DJs Lanny K and Gemma.

A huge number of the artists Hobb has worked with will come together for this special event, according to close friend Fiona McGregor.

It’s a good excuse to have a celebration. We don’t get to do this much, there isn’t often an opportunity to have a performance night. A whole bunch of us just got together and said, -˜We have to do this.’ But there is no main organiser, so it’s going to be crazy, McGregor said.

There’s going to be a whole smorgasbord of performance styles that range from stilts through to vaudeville. Some silly things and some serious things. I can imagine the auction is going to turn into a bit of a performance itself.

Auctioneer Sam King always gives good banter so that part of the evening is bound to become quite raucous. Some of the items to go under the hammer include slaves, fetish wear and original pieces donated by local artists.

McGregor’s advice is to dress extravagantly, bring a cushion and some cash. Oh, try to get there early because the room capacity is limited and Hobb is well-loved.

Fartistes promises to be the kind of party Hobb himself would organise, just enough disordered mayhem to keep things interesting. More than 20 performers have eagerly offered to put on a show, including Sexy Galexy, Imogen Kelly and Marty Jay.

The amazing generosity of everyone involved has kept costs to a minimum. That means the $25 door charge and all money raised from the auction will go straight to Hobb. After everything has been sold, the cushions will be flung aside so revellers can finish off the night on the dancefloor. DJs Miss Yetti, Lanny K, Oberon and Gemma are certain to keep the Kirk crowd happy.

Fartistes will be held at the Kirk Hotel, 422 Cleveland St, Surry Hills, this Sunday 14 July from 7pm until late.

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