An epic production inspired by the true story of an Aboriginal lifesaver, starring an extraordinary line up of musicians.

The Spirit of Churaki is an epic music production that rides the perfect wave between rocking surf tunes, laid back oceanic beats, beautiful ballads and the ancient sounds of Aboriginal language.

Inspired by the heroic and largely unknown story of an Aboriginal man heralded as one of Australia’s first surf lifesavers, The Spirit of Churaki honours a rich lineage of saltwater people, a spirit of generosity, a deep connection to country and cultural obligation. A story to be shared with the nation and the world.

Starring an extraordinary line up of legendary Australian musicians under the musical direction of Brian Ritchie (Violent Femmes) and cultural collaborator Kyle Slabb (Banaam), this is a musical collaboration united by the spirit of the surf.

Musical star power includes Australian veteran of percussion Greg Sheehan, genre-traversing classical and electric violinist Veronique Serret, award-winning songstress Leah Flanagan, acclaimed bassist Sam Pankhurst, founder of QLD’s only Indigenous owned and operated record label Fred Leone, the soulful Colin Usher and the incredibly talented Slabb family who play across traditional percussion, bass, ukulele and vocals.

The Helpmann Award Nominated (Best Musical Direction) performance, is 70 minutes of outstanding music and traditional dance, accompanied by moving and evocative visuals.

Venue Format
Theatre, Hall, Outdoor
Technical Rating
Touring Party
14 - 16

Preferred Venue Schedule is; Day 1 - Technical bump in and rehearsal Day 2 - Performance

For Festivals preferred schedule is;

  • Stage access required - 2 hours prior to change over
  • Riser access required - 90 mins prior to change over
  • 20 mins to 30 mins change over required on & off stage

Presenter Technical Requirements;

  • Audio and Backline as per spec
  • LX as per spec
  • AV as detailed in spec (1 x LED screen flown upstage 9m x 4m with a pitch of 7.5mm or better)
  • Rolling Risers x 3 as per spec
  • Crew + staffing
  • Dressing room and catering for tour party
  • Rehearsal room and rehearsal PA

Bleach Festival is the signature annual multi-arts festival on the Gold Coast. The Festival celebrates the city’s best artists, invites & works with renowned Australian & international collaborators & engages a broad audience through a range of accessible events & bespoke programs. Utilising the Gold Coast’s world famous natural landscapes as unconventional venues, Bleach Festival is a platform for new work, curated to encourage community ownership & participation, as well as stand alongside Australia’s leading arts festivals with a particular focus on site-specific work.

Our vision is to surprise, inspire and transform communities through the arts and our mission is to deliver incredible arts and cultural experiences that challenge expectations, change perceptions and provide a unique and authentic sense of place, inspiring both locals and visitors alike.

Bleach Festival 2018 key highlights;

  • 140 performances (85% of which were free) across all art forms
  • The commissioning of 11 world premieres including The Spirit of Churaki (large scale Indigenous music project)
  • 856 artists & creatives were paid to work on Bleach Festival 2018 (556 of these were from the Gold Coast)

Company Website

Unique Selling Point

This is a story with universal appeal that connects to Australian coastal lifestyle, surf culture, surf lifesaving and the first peoples of this land.

It's a musical journey infused with a saltwater spirit that can be heard in the music, seen through the visuals and felt through powerful and moving traditional language.

The show features an outstanding line up of artists who provide significant cut through and audience reach due to their extensive touring histories and international acclaim.

Accompanied by excellent visual materials to be used across marketing platforms the presenter is provided with powerful and engaging campaign material.

Marketing Materials

Comprehensive Tour + Media Pack, Featuring;

  • Marketing Copy
  • Full Image suite of high quality, stunning images (Promotional and Live).
  • Video Material: Promotional Clips – Marketing footage, Live footage + Behind The
  • Full show archival video
  • Digital assets + design
  • Media release + PR templates
  • Background research and education materials
  • Reviews + Quotes

Community Engagement

Bleached Arts is committed to working in close collaboration with presenters to best explore local context and exchange to ensure the presentation is embedded with opportunity for community engagement and cultural legacy. This can include cross programming and supporting talks, workshops, and skills exchange.

The lead artists are experienced speakers and can talk both about the show as well as more broader topics e.g. applying ancient knowledge and traditional systems into modern day life and community contexts. The ensemble are experienced music facilitators and can offer a variety of workshop models.

The team is committed to cultural protocol and will work with the presenters to establish connection with the local Custodians or Traditional Owner spokespeople, where able.

A local support act or opening ceremonial component is a great way to connect this story locally. As this is a coastal/ saltwater story we imagine many communities across the nation will feel a resonance and connection to the music of the land and the content of the story.