Pop Up North Queensland (PUNQ) has announced its program for 2021. The biennial festival, established in 2017 to bring new life to the Townsville CBD by giving artists access to empty shopfronts, will this year expand its reach from Wulgurukaba and Bindal Country (Townsville) to include Yunbenun (Magnetic Island), Gudjal Country (Charters Towers) and Warrgamay, Nywaigi and  Bandjin Country (Hinchinbrook).

The 10-day regional festival, featuring visual and performing arts, will run from 30 July to 8 August and will feature a wide-range of events drawing inspiration from UFO sightings, natural disasters, quarantine history during 19th-century epidemics, and the plight of the Great Barrier Reef among other things. It will also debut new initiatives including a regional art trail and an emerging First Nations artist program.

This year’s PUNQ will take place in some extraordinarily beautiful locations from island beaches to sugar-cane fields, with a secret CBD location thrown in for Dancenorth’s new work World Interior. The festival’s Artistic Director Kate O’Haraspoke to Limelightabout her first PUNQ festival and what audiences can expect.