Coogee Live attracted about 16,000 locals and visitors over the weekend (7-8 March) for a free community festival featuring 80 family-friendly activations, installations, entertainment acts, workshops and demonstrations along 1.5kms of Coogee Beach coastline.
The themes of creativity, connection, culture, community and sustainability featured throughout Coogee Live, with pets, parrots, puppets, produce, paddling, plays, pirates and puppy training just a few popular activities.
The Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s giant Brolgas walked 20kms over the weekend, gently pecking at passers-by and the 22 Folds origami paper crane installation Coogee Takes Flight. From mermaids to mediation and movement, bush food to sustainable seafood, education sessions and pure joyous entertainment, Coogee Live delivered something for everyone.
Coogee Live was officially opened by City of Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett, the Welcome To Country delivered by Elder Marie Taylor and celebrated with songs ‘Wanjoo’ (‘welcome’ in Nyungar) and ‘We Are Australian’ in English and Nyungar by 35 children from East Hamilton Hill and Phoenix primary schools.
City of Cockburn Events and Cultural Coordinator Marie La Frenais said that it was tremendous to see so many people enjoying Coogee Live.
“There was such a vibrant atmosphere at Coogee Live and I heard more than once people comment that they’d never been to Coogee before and how nice it was,” Ms La Frenais said.
“By all accounts, Coogee Live has been a huge success and I’d like to thank all the artists, performers, chefs, event staff, event volunteers and all involved for their hard work to make it happen.”
Coogee Live was a free event and also plastic free, with food vendors using biodegradable dishes and cutlery. Coffee was sold in ‘keep cups’ and water stations were set up across the event with reusable cups with special bins to put them into for sterilising and reuse.
Coogee Takes Flight smashed expectations, more than doubling the anticipated number of origami paper cranes with more than 1,500 installed.
The cranes were folded by 400 local students (pre event) as well as by hundreds of visitors at Coogee Live, each carrying a wish or message of hope including “I hope there are no more bushfires in Australia”, “For everyone to feel they belong” to “I want to be a rock star”.
Origami artist at 22folds Melanie Gray said it had been a true honour to be involved in Coogee Live.
“We had an overwhelmingly positive response with hundreds and hundreds of people folding paper cranes, which has been very humbling and some of the messages carry a lot of emotion, it’s a really beautiful contribution by the community.”
All members of the community were catered for, even those with limited mobility. Eight Cycling without Age Tri-Saws (like a rickshaw) transferred 1,800 people between the four Coogee Live hubs.
The City of Cockburn provided about 400 health checks at the Healthy Cockburn Live Better station, including blood pressure readings and hearing tests.
Event-goers were sustained by 13 food vendors serving about 2,000 croquettes, 1,600 dumplings, 800 sliders (mini-burgers) and 350 cannoli, plus 1,200 coffees.
To a packed house at the Ocean Kitchen Garden, popular local chefs Scott Brannigan of Coogee Common and Santini Bar and Grill executive sous chef Gord Kahle, demonstrated how to cook over coals.
Phil Clark of Fins Seafood explained how octopus is caught in Cockburn Sound and sardines from nearby Fremantle. Brannigan used freshly harvested paprika, herbs and beetroot from the massive garden at Coogee Common, which opened for the first time on the weekend at the historic Coogee Hotel building.
Mother and son TV food personalities Anna and Jordan Bruno ran kids cooking lessons and Jordan’s bush food education included wattle seed, quandongs, salt bush and more. Wholefoods advocate Jude Blereau ran sessions on preserving while Milky’s Mud Kitchen provided more than 1,000 kids with hours of imaginative cooking in six bespoke timber play kitchens on Coogee Beach.
Perth Scuba were fully booked within 15 minutes and took 26 people on free introductory dives at the Omeo Wreck site, with 150 people on their waiting list.
Elemental SUP had 10 stand up paddleboards for lessons and more than 100 people took advantage of the free ‘come and try’ sessions.
Saturday night on the beach, people were bopping around fire pits and chilling on the sunken sand sofas to the Kreol rhythms by Grace Barbé and dance tunes by DJs at the Nova Jetty Session.
Dangerous Delights had on-lookers enthralled with their fire manipulation and fire-eating skills and the graceful Fliptease artists added a touch of magical wonder in glowing terrabat orbs and on a spinning suspended lyra hoop.
The Colours of Coogee Show drew big crowds showcasing Coogee’s cultural diversity with inspired performances from cultural groups representing India, Serbia, Africa and Croatia.
Coogee Live was is a City of Cockburn event proudly supported by LiveLighter, Healthway and Lotterywest.