Performing arts fest here for 77th edition

THE Murwillumbah Festival of Performing Arts is set to take centre stage from tomorrow Friday at the Murwillumbah Civic Centre.

More than 5000 young performers from around Australia will try their best to excel in areas of speech, music and dance.

President of the Murwillumbah Festival of Performing Arts Arthur Holmes said the 77-year-old festival is not showing any signs of ageing.

"I call it the friendly games competition," Mr Holmes said.

"Everyone who comes here says its friendly; it's a competition, but everyone networks and makes friends."

Mr Holmes said hundreds of people will come to view the festival over the three weeks.

"It's a wonderful event. We always want more people to come," he said.

"A lot of future headliners are on display here."

Even current Australia's Got Talent finalist Aaron Smyth performed at the festival in recent years.

"A lot of performers who come through here end up going onto big events internationally and overseas," he said.

"I would like to thank the committee and volunteers who give up time to help us run the festival."

The first big event for the festival will be held on Saturday evening from 7pm. Performers 15 years and older will act out a memorised, themed and linked program consisting of a lyric poem, humorous poem or prose and drama. The winner will receive a perpetual trophy and $1000.

The Alton Budd Memorial Award for 18-to-35-year-olds will be held next Saturday, June 28, from 7pm, with a $2000 first-place prize.

"We only hold this one every second year," Mr Holmes said.

"The money from this one must be used to pay off fees to teachers. It's not all about winning and the money, but when lessons cost so much, it's a nice incentive."

Mr Holmes said the biggest days of the festival will be the big dance weekend starting on Saturday, July 5.

"There will be classical ballet, modern dance, jazz groups, tap groups and more," he said.

The festival is after more volunteers to fill positions of scribes, doorpersons, chairpersons and backstage hands. People wanting to volunteer can leave their name and contact phone number at the desk in the foyer at the civic centre.

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