Dan Sultan and the Indigenous All Stars

When a multi ARIA award winner and all round rock legend like Dan Sultan visits my town I’m gonna make damn sure I get on my bike both literally and metaphorically.

Such is what I did Friday night. Gold Coast hosted an indigenous celebration called the Bumehla Festival that culminated with the All Stars game on Saturday night, but not being a league fan the real highlight for me was Dan Sultan on Friday night.

Dan Sultan

It amazes me that in a town of half a million people we can muster barely a couple hundred strong crowd when one of Australia’s finest does a free concert. Getting around the Gold Coast by fixie, geared bike or cart pulled by goats isn’t a challenge (okay, maybe the goats is), and the concert was free, and yet the crowd was sparse and there was only one other bike parked in the bizarrely shaped bike racks at Southport Broadwater Parklands.

I’m disappointed that a movement like the fixie culture cant take greater interest in events outside their domain. In the words of Lance Armstrong, “It’s not about the bike.” The fixie movement is an urban, and hopefully it is an urbane movement. And I’d hope that next time one of Australia’s finest musical artists plays a free concert on the Gold Coast I’ll see a few more fixies represented among the crowd.

To be fair, I’m not quite sure the Gold Coast council got behind the festival. Witness their far from exhaustive listing in their events guide. Gold Coast council link you to the NRL, who show an interest in the game but don’t seem to have a focus on the festival as a whole. The ABC is ever vigilant and tells me that not only was Dan Sultan listed to play but also the Bangarra dance company, who I’ve seen many times and can tell you are fantastic, and some rapper dudes. We hung around a bit on Saturday night but apart from a game of footy telecast onto a giant screen we didn’t see much else. At one point some hip hop artists burst into song and we hastened back to the stage from where we’d wandered but by the time we got there the rappers were gone.

I think that just like Auntie, we have to be a bit vigilant, and hopefully next time some of Australia’s best artists provide us with a free show we’ll get more than a couple hundred turn up.

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