Spreading our wings on Australia Day
Australia Day is always a busy day for us – with multiple events across Melbourne and multiple acts going out. This year we wanted to add some extra special guests to the mix.
We met with Australia Day event producer Kristy Foulcher of Peter Jones Special Events late in 2015 and ran some ideas for new acts past her – a walking musical Coat of Arms, beautiful body-painted statues ‘Bush Boy and Bottle Brush Baby’ and the idea of scooter-riding, singing, dancing cockatoos. Kristy presented the ideas to her client who loved them, and we got onto creating the costumes and acts. With less than a three month turn-around over Christmas and New Year it would be a little tricky, but do-able!
Working with our costume designer, the cockatoos evolved into sassy mod-style birds, with shimmy dresses, and gorgeous wings. The design was workshopped over many costume fittings, taking into account weight, movement, visibility, mobility, longevity and the ability to wear it whilst riding a scooter or singing and dancing.
Each feather was hand-made and four seamstresses worked on the three cockatoos – the feathers alone took 244 hours in total to make. The costumes were fully paid for by us and will last well into the future. We can’t wait to see where they appear next (Nic has visions of them scootering down the Grand Prix circuit).
The Coat of Arms presented its own challenges – the costume requirements of musicians playing drums, saxophone and tuba are quite unique and we’re still fine-tuning the costumes to allow us to walk, chat, sing and deliver killer solos comfortably. The Emu body is covered in individually hand sewn real emu feathers – another mammoth sewing effort.
Come Australia Day, we appeared at three sites and presented seven acts including the Wacky Cruiser bikes and trailers, Giant Aussie Flag performers, Wacky Stockmen, Wacky music in Aussie Flag suits, Roving Magician, Wacky Cockatoos, Flockatoo Show, Coat of Arms Trio, and Bush Boy and Bottle Brush Baby. In addition to entertaining people on the day, the acts appeared in plenty of media and live news crosses. It was a fantastic day and we thank Kristy and Peter Jones Special Events for running with our idea to set up a space for the Flockatoo Show – where our singing Wacky Cockatoos and the Wacky Trio in Aussie Flag suits got the crowd dancing. It was a fantastic experience. Check out some footage.
“Having the Wackys every year as a regular on this parade has been wonderful. They always deliver. This year we asked for something new and different, with an Australian theme but with a new and innovative twist. The Wacky Cockatoos were a fabulous addition and brought the native side of Australia to our parade. The client – and the public – just loved them! I can’t count how many photos must have been taken with these gorgeous girls. And their singing was sublime! We love working with Nic and the team, they always come to the party with great new ideas to make our events come alive.”
Kristy Foulcher, Event Producer
Peter Jones Special Events