Peter's Blog

Active (or Awesome) April

I would like to talk about all the things that have been happening on Lower Eyre Peninsula, particularly the inaugural SALT Festival, which occurred just a couple of weeks ago from 21 to 30 April. It was a 10-day festival and over 100 events took place. Over the 10 days, there were almost 6,500 attendees.

The festival had an initial vision of a ‘global’ concept, with the global and local informing each other. It gave artists who would never have otherwise exhibited a platform to celebrate their work. It included art classes, workshops, exhibitions, conferences, music, live performances, writers events and many other things right across Lower Eyre Peninsula, not only in Port Lincoln but also in Tumby Bay, Cummins, Coffin Bay and, dare I say it, even the tiny town of Edillilie, which of course is my home town.

The target at the outset was to hold 35 events and, as I said, they finished up with over 100. I remember Terry Krieg and Tim Coote both coming to me on separate occasions 18 months ago with the germ of an idea that they simply wanted to float with me. After an extraordinary amount of work and the pulling together of a very capable committee, the result was a tremendously successful festival. The festival will occur again next year. The dates are already in, so please lock in 20 to 29 April 2018.

I was able to get along to a few events. I did not get to all 100, but I certainly tried to get to one on each and every day. Of course, I attended the opening at the SALT Shaker—the venue which headquartered the festival. I attended a piano concert by internationally acclaimed pianists Simon Tedeschi and Kevin Hunt, and a walk for Parkinson’s at Tumby Bay, which incidentally was opened by ABC identity Peter Goers, who also did shows at Cummins, Tumby Bay, Coffin Bay and Port Lincoln.

I attended the Tin Shed Rockers dance at the Edillilie Hall, and I congratulate the Edillilie Memorial Progress Association, particularly Julie Carter and Reta Coffey, on their work there. It is nice to see the Edillilie Hall being used again. It was an afternoon show. There were some pretty hard-core rockers there. In fact, the Port Lincoln Car Club made the journey up as well. The event was well attended, and they really enjoyed the afternoon.

There was the Bank of I.D.E.A.S. workshop with Peter Kenyon and Kat Baddeley. Peter Kenyon is known throughout the nation. He is Western Australian by birth but has made his profession travelling regional areas of South Australia and giving invigorating and encouraging speeches. On the day I attended in Cummins, he talked about reinvigorating country towns and also the businesses that are so vital in those country towns.

In a nutshell, the SALT Festival provided a platform for artists and contributors to showcase their ideas and interact, and the festival allowed people to converge in arts, innovation, conferences and discussion. I also attended the energy summit, which was entitled ‘Line in the sand’. Of course, the power issue, the electricity issue, is so critical to this state, this nation and especially Eyre Peninsula, and there were lots of good ideas and solutions being worked towards. We were fortunate enough to have Professor Ross Garnaut at that particular workshop. He probably has more experience in this area than anyone else in Australia.

Congratulations to the SALT Festival committee: the chairperson, Tim Coote; festival coordinator, Lisa Kuerschner; Andrea Broadfoot; Sally Neville; Cherie Broad; Jack Ritchie; Mark Thomas; Kathryn Hardwick-Francou; Peter Mihalaras; Emma Pedler; and Terry Krieg. I am sure that there were many others who contributed and helped along the way, but particularly to that committee: a job well done and tremendously successful, and we are looking forward to next year. This was on the back of the Peter Teakle motorsport event in Port Lincoln two weeks prior to that, where there was live motor racing around the street circuit that was created in Port Lincoln. We talk about Mad March in Adelaide; it was certainly active April in Port Lincoln.