Editorial: Beat the Heat a great addition to festival calendar

Bill and Kasey Chambers perform a duet in the Beat the Heat concert in Cloncurry on Friday.
Bill and Kasey Chambers perform a duet in the Beat the Heat concert in Cloncurry on Friday.

There are times when I’m desperately sorry I don’t have the gift of bilocation. 

Bilocation, for those unfamiliar with the word, is a psychic or miraculous ability supposed granted to some Christian saints and Muslim sufis to enable them to appear in two distinct places at the same time.

Sadly being neither a saint or sufi I have to make do with being in one place at any time and that meant choosing between Mount Isa’s multicultural festival and Cloncurry’s Beat the Heat festival on Friday.

I plumped for the latter simply because it was the first of its kind.

I hear the Mount Isa festival was a lot of fun as it celebrated the contribution of the Finns to the city’s mining heritage and I suppose I’d better be there next year as I hear they are celebrating the contribution of the Irish (that’s if I’m invited having missed out this year). 

But down in the Curry they were also celebrating a rich mining heritage with the chaotic and hilarious mine cart race. 

It reminded me a bit of Camooweal’s Mailman race in the Drovers Festival with teams having to negotiate a series of challenges such as carting ore, munching curry and branding a “calf” while wheeling home-made carts around the course.

While all this was going on out in the main street, the Precinct’s courtyard was taken over by teams of another kind, taking part in the Curry cook off.

The great thing about it was that visitors were invited to drop by and sample their delicious wares before being judged by a team of judges as well as being up for a people’s choice award. They were all stars and not surprisingly every last bit of curry was consumed by an eager crowd.

Local groups such as the Lions were also on hand to sell sausages and steak sandwiches so there was no chance of anyone going hungry even if they missed out on the curry.

There was a performance from the Deadly Dancers and the Jump Stars before the star attraction took to the stage.

I’d never seen Kasey Chambers in concert before but she was absolutely brilliant, enthusiastic and clearly having fun, and backed by a great band that included her dad Bill Chambers.

It ended a fantastic night in the Curry. – Derek Barry