FLOWERING FESTIVAL: Tropical Bloom will meld Australian culture with Maori culture this year. Inset: Tropical Bloom organisers Catherine Mason and Leo Honek with baby Muralo.
FLOWERING FESTIVAL: Tropical Bloom will meld Australian culture with Maori culture this year. Inset: Tropical Bloom organisers Catherine Mason and Leo Honek with baby Muralo. Trish Bowman

Huge growth spurt for Tropical Bloom festival

THE sixth annual Tropical Bloom Festival will bring DJs, musicians and festival goers flocking to the region this weekend for three days of chill sounds, yoga, dancing, workshops and family fun.

Local entrepreneurs Leo Honek and Catherine Mason have been attracting people to Capricornia since 2014, when the first Tropical Bloom was held in the middle of November at Bajool, south of Rockhampton.

From those 170 people who bonded in the heat, Tropical Bloom, now held at Hedlow Creek, has grown to 1000 participants.

Leo and Cat's aim was to bring some of the festival culture that exists elsewhere to the area they grew up in.

As Tropical Bloom has grown, so has Leo and Cat's own family. They now have three children and the children's playground is a popular feature at the festival.

"When we secured the Hedlow Creek property in 2015, we moved Tropical to a cooler time of year, turned it into a three-day festival, added workshop spaces and started building a playground for the children,” Leo said.

"Since then we've expanded the children's space, added new workshop hubs and an art gallery, introduced more live music and focused on indigenous cultures.

"2018 was all about Australian Aboriginal cultures and traditions, and this year we've invited representatives of the Maori culture to come and share their art and traditional ways.”

Each year the main stage is an engineering and artistic marvel, not revealed until the festival's opening night.

Last year the stage was built in the shape of a green tree frog, the totem of the local Aboriginal people.

This year there is no doubt the engaging couple will thrill and delight with the new stage design.

Cat said Tropical Bloom is a celebration of art, culture and community, the aspects that make up the foundation of the festival.

"The art comes in more visual and aural forms than you can imagine. The culture we construct is a blend of indigenous, tribal, traditional and new age values and ideals,” Cat said.

"Community is the glue that bonds it all together.

"Caring for ourselves, each other and the planet is the central creed for creating and sustaining the positive vibe that Tropical Bloom has become known for each and every year.”

Cat said the 2019 Tropical Bloom festival will feature a co-mingling of Maori culture and the ever-present indigenous Australian Mobs.

"The music will cover a multitude of genres, with live and electronic artists playing across two stages for the entire weekend,” she said.

"This year the festival features an awesome kids' space and four workshop spaces dedicated to healing, culture, philosophy, and skill-sharing that will run back to back throughout the weekend.

"We have the new Garden Dome that will host discussions and presentations including permaculture, waste management and a range of environmental topics of interest.

"There will be a range of stalls, the art gallery and some amazing workshops to enjoy.”

The festival is fast becoming known as a space where people come to be entertained, educated and inspired to choose a positive outlook in a non-judgemental and caring environment.

This year Tropical Bloom has two music stages, three workshop spaces for yoga, healing modalities and arts and crafts, a permaculture garden, kids' zone, market place, and acrobatic and performance arts.

Festival goers can camp by the creek for an unforgettable weekend.

Online tickets are into the final round at $180 for a full weekend pass. Locals can take advantage of $140 hard copy tickets available at Yogolicious Café in Yeppoon or Gypsy Devine in Rockhampton.

Entry is free for kids aged 15 and under.

For more information and tickets go to tropicalbloom.com.au.



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