The award-winning Coogee Live attracted over 20,000 people on the weekend (11-12 March) and has been described as an outstanding success.
The free community festival along 1.5km of beautiful Coogee coastline delivered on its promise of radiating feel-good vibes for all ages with a program of over 180 free activations, activities and entertainment.
City of Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said Coogee Live 2023, the fifth edition of the festival, was the best yet.
“Coogee Live was an outstanding success. It was tremendous to see so many people enjoying and participating in the many activities on offer,” Mayor Howlett said.
“Bringing the community together for an inclusive festival that celebrates positivity is at the heart of Coogee Live and that radiated throughout the weekend.
“It was also immensely rewarding to provide a place for local artists to perform, many of whom are still recovering from the pandemic.
“One highlight was an Australian record attempt at The Great Mermaid Migration which lured 67 mermaids, mermen and merfolk to Coogee Beach.
“Posing for photos, the merpeople waved, swayed, blew kisses and bubbles to thousands of onlookers, attracting a lot of attention.”
Coogee Live partner Fliptease provided a spectacular array of entertainment that thrilled festival goers including the Balloonatics, the Leaping Lillies Stage Show, Hula Hoopers, and managed the migration of the mermaid pod, inviting some to stay for swim-up selfies.
Mayor Howlett officially opened Coogee Live, with a Welcome to Country delivered by Elder Olman Walley accompanied by the Little Boorloo dancers.
A highlight of the two-day festival was the magical lantern parade led by fire provocateurs Dangerous Delights to the beats of Taiko On drummers, Japanese flute and didgeridoo.
Following the flames and carrying handmade lanterns were hundreds of participants who walked along the beach from Omeo Park to Coogee Jetty against a backdrop of a magnificent Western Australian sunset over the ocean.
Crowds gathered for the Radiate concert at the main stage at Coogee Reserve.
There, East Hamilton Hill Primary School Noongar Choir sang a moving rendition of ‘Ancient Sands’ in English and Noongar accompanied by the Perth Symphony Orchestra.
PSO then provided instrumental backing for Grand Delusions, a VisAbility band of WA musicians with vision impairment and acquired brain injury, in an inspiring musical collaboration that delighted the crowd.
There was something for everyone including those with limited mobility thanks to eight Cycling without Age Tri-Shaws for (similar to a rickshaw) transferring thousands of people between the four Coogee Live hubs.
About 20 food trucks were positioned across the event, and in alignment with City of Cockburn’s Waste Wise policy, Coogee Live was delivered as a ‘waste minimised and single-use plastic free’ event, saving 32,000 items from landfill.
With partner Go2Cups, there were six Waste Sorting Stations manned by volunteer ‘waste champions’ who provided education on waste minimisation and washed re-usable plates and cups. Five bins at each station were for collecting recycling, food waste, Go2Cups, ‘Containers for Change’ and general waste.
Coogee Live delivered something for everyone and popular sessions included the Chef and the Fisherman where chef Caroline Taylor demonstrated how to humanely dispatch a lobster caught just an hour earlier by local fisherman James Paratore from WA Rock Lobster boat, the Vanessa James.
The intergenerational cooking competition, The Great Cake Off, a competition where the back-story is just as important as the taste, was won by John Ivey from the Coogee Community Garden for his spiced apple caramel tea cake which he baked with his 80-year-old mother-in-law.
Festival favourite, the Colours of Coogee showcased a number of cultural groups in the City of Cockburn with inspiring traditional performances representing Chinese, Spanish, Serbian, Spanish, Croatian and Russian cultures.
From pirates to plant propagation, painting canvas to painting pots, crazy crabs to crazy critters, lobster tastings, fish filleting, fencing, live art installations, Tiny Land for tiny people, SUP, scuba and SUP yoga sessions, storytelling, games, toys and music and joyous entertainment, Coogee Live delivered something for everyone.
Coogee Live is a City of Cockburn event proudly supported by LiveLighter, Healthway and Lotterywest.