Cairns counts down 150 days until solar eclipse
WITH Sunday marking 150 days to one of the biggest astrological and tourism events in Cairns' history, construction and promotion has begun on a major music, arts and lifestyle festival in the Far North.
Up to 15,000 punters are expected to attend Eclipse2012, a collaboration between one of Australia's biggest and longest standing independent music and arts festivals, Rainbow Serpent in Victoria, alongside Symbiosis Festival from the US, Glade Festival in the UK, Psyclone Events and Mosiac.
The seven-day event spans from November 10-16 at a cattle station at Palmer River between Cairns and Cooktown, with the total solar eclipse taking place at 6.38am on November 14.
Crews have been working for the past month to construct roads and logistics on site, which organisers say was chosen for maximum exposure to the eclipse on the big day.
"The Eclipse2012 festival location was carefully chosen not only for its position along the centre line of totality, but also for the local area's consistent good weather and probability of clear skies at this time of year," an Eclipse2012 spokesperson said.
A huge list of international live acts and DJs has been announced as part of the event's first line-up release, with artists from Denmark, Sweden, Germany, UK, US, Spain, Portugal, Israel, South Africa, The Netherlands and Brazil all locked in for the event.
Included are world-famous German DJs and producers D-Nox and Atmos, hot Australian dubstep duo Dysphemic and Miss Eliza and award-winning sound designer and live performer Spoonbill.
Kevin KoChen from Symbiosis Festival in California is taking one of the roles of directors for the festival and said it was an honour to bring such a large and important event to Far North Queensland.
"A solar eclipse is one of the most amazing natural spectacles that one can ever experience and an opportunity to produce an event in the path of totality is an opportunity that has significant gravitas," he said.
"This, coupled with an opportunity to collaborate with Glade and Rainbow Serpent, two of our most respected colleagues, makes participating in this event an obvious choice."
The search is now on for local and national talent to become part of the event, with applications open for musicians, decor, workshops, volunteers and paid work, performers, VJs and multimedia artists via eclipse2012.com.
In addition, a selection of arts grants up to $10,000 are available from the festival to artists who want to contribute major individual projects. Full information is available online. Market stall and food applications will also open soon.
The festival is also offering domestic and international package deals for anyone planning to visit the Far North during the eclipse.
The event at Palmer River is one of three major drawcards planned for around eclipse, with the Port Douglas Solar Eclipse Festival and the Port Douglas Solar Eclipse Marathon also on the list.
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Historic: Up to 15,000 people are expected to attend the Eclipse2012 festival in November.