Council gets behind new Townsville arts festival

An arts festival promising to bring more than 10,000 visitors to Townsville now has the backing of a Townsville City Council grant to help get it up and running later this year.

The $49,552 grant has been provided to Umbrella Studio Association through the Townsville City Council Grants and Partnerships Social Category to help produce Pop-Up North Queensland (PUNQ).

Community and Cultural Development Committee deputy chairperson Liam Mooney said the festival would be a boon to the region.

“PUNQ is a fantastic project that is aiming to bring audiences in from across the city, and from further afield, to experience site-specific art across Townsville,” Mooney said.

“Umbrella Studio has projected that PUNQ will bring more than 10,000 visitors into Townsville, which would be great for our city’s hotels, restaurants, cafes and shops. Altogether the festival is expected to have more than 50,000 visitors.”

Mooney said PUNQ would run in conjunction with the North Australian Festival of Arts (NAFA) and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM).

“Being able to link PUNQ to NAFA and AFCM is a great move – it will give visitors bang for their buck, and hopefully encourage them to spend a bit more time in our city,” he said.

“COVID-19 has had an effect on our region’s tourism numbers, so being able to offer a series of arts festivals in a row will hopefully entice visitors to take a trip up from down south to experience all we have to offer here in Townsville.

“Council is proud to support PUNQ. The grant that we have awarded to Umbrella Studio will go towards artist fees and shop front hire.”