Your guide to DBCT Illuminate

Published: 22 Jul 2019

Hundreds of weird and wonderful sea creatures created by young artists will join a turtle the size of a city bus at DBCT Illuminate from tonight (July 22).

The 15-metre, 375-kilogram inflatable black and white turtle, named Alphie, is a creation of Queensland artist BJ Price and will be hard to miss at the Botanic Gardens.

The turtle will be just one of the giant whimsical sea creatures at this year's Mackay Festival of Arts spectacular event known for its creative blending of art, lighting and special effects.

There will also be a three-metre crocodile and a five-metre water dragon.

DBCT Illuminate workshop coordinator Wanda Bennett said this year’s workshops were so well attended that numbers exceeded expectations.

“We had as many young artists attend the first day of workshops as we had for the whole week last year,” Ms Bennett said.

“We now have more than 300 amazing creations to add to the decorations at the gardens – it’s going to be incredible.”

This free event will light up the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens from tonight (July 22) to Friday, July 26.  It will run nightly from 6pm to 9pm.

Cr Justin Englert said DBCT Illuminate would be a treat for all the senses this year.

"There'll be plenty of food on offer from onsite food vendors, as well as tasty platters, and the amphitheatre will feature 23 acts with hundreds of performers from Monday to Friday night,” he said.

“There will also be roving circus entertainers ‘fishing’ for the audience’s approval," he said.

"The Jack Sturgeon Stage entertainment will include band 3Way Crossing and all the local talent that is usually on display at the Lunchbox Concerts in Caneland Central."

An ATM will be available at the venue.

Access to the event will only be from the Meadowlands side, via Crowleys Road.  Parking has been tripled in the area to cater for the massive crowds expected.

Please follow the instructions of parking marshals and drive safely in congested areas.

Jack Sturgeon Stage Line-up:


  • 3Way Crossing
  • Billy Dyer
  • Matilda Ralph

Tuesday night

  • Brianna Maree
  • Scissors Paper Rock
  • Dana Falzon
  • Jonte Tupeae
  • Bella Mackenzie

Wednesday night

  • Mercy College Mackay
  • Aspire Performing Arts
  • A-Choir’d Pitch

Thursday night

  • Finding Your Art
  • Glenella State Primary school
  • Manic Mandy
  • Dana Falzon
  • Mackay Musical Comedy Players Inc.
  • Dance Express Mackay
  • Leyon Milner
  • Niki Vella Power

Friday night

  • Holy Spirit College Mackay
  • Ryan & Anita
  • Fame Talent School
  • Songbirds
  • Tommy Contor
  • Vicky Bobeldyk