The last few years the Warrnambool City Council has received more than their fair share of criticism regarding the Fun 4 Kids festival, not so much for the concept of the festival, rather the cost blow outs and the general administration, and to their credit they have been working to find a format which will turn the festival into a more viable event.
This year we will see a number of changes to the structure of the festival which will hopefully widen the appeal and improve attendances. Changes announced on the 10th of April include the appointment of the Warrnambool Standard as the naming rights sponsor for 2017, this should bring considerable expertise to the advertising and marketing side of the festival, also the festival will be shortened to five days and run from Wednesday the 5th of July to Sunday 9th of July.
Other changes include the inclusion of an evening program, plus improvements to the ticketing system which will allow the purchase of one, two or five day passes and a little more flexibility in family tickets, in addition this years festival will introduce a Pirate theme for the festival.
This years acts include high profile performers such as Frank Woodley, Jimmy Giggle, the Paw Patrol stage show, the “Dreamworks” Trolls live show, plus about another 20 live acts which will appear across the 5 days of the Fun4Kids festival. Along the the live performances there will be all of the festival favourites include arts and craft, face painting, Kids kitchen, Pirates Cove obstacle course and the perennial favourite, the children's petting zoo
No Wiggles, Dorothy the Dinosaur or Bananas in Pyjamas, but this years Fun4Kids festival will still have plenty of dancing, singing, comedy and fun activities including
Frank Woodley - Australia’s bendiest comedian, Frank Woodley, is leaping into Warrnambool for an hour of hilarity and hijinks crafted especially for the Fun4Kids stage. Frank is built from funny – it’s in his bones. Whether he's being a comedian, clown, actor or acrobat, he's constantly creating characters and worlds to engage audiences of all ages. See one of the country’s most beloved physical comedians unleashing his special brand of nonsense-genius for children this July.
Jimmy Giggle - He sings, jokes, drives a giggle-mobile and gets to wear his pyjamas in the daytime! Yes, ABC TV star Jimmy Giggle is our 2017 Fun4Kids headline performer. For the past five years Jimmy and his television co-host, Hoot, have been entertaining children across Australia with the enormously popular Giggle and Hoot show.
Dreamworks Trolls live stage show - Join the stars of Trolls – Poppy and Branch, Poppy with a song in her heart, she knows life is all about cupcakes and rainbows and Branch, who is very cautious, careful but is always ready for anything - except Poppy’s personality. Poppy and Branch have their ups and downs but always make friends and understand each other in the end!
Lah Lah’s Big band live - Lah-Lah is the grooviest band for families! With the loveable Lah-Lah, Buzz the Bandleader, Mister Saxophone, Squeezy Sneezy, Tom Tom and Lola the Dancing Double Bass. Lah-Lah has something for everyone. Lah-Lah introduces children and their families to the wonderful world of music and musical instruments.
Opera Australia The Magic Flute - The Magic Flute is a mysterious and wonderful tale, following four young people’s journeys as they discover their own strengths and weaknesses and pass the tests of true love. Its story of truth and light, friendship and forgiveness, told with enchanting music, continues to delight audiences all over the world.
The Paw Patrol stage show - Join Chase, Marshall and their friends as they keep your local shopping centre safe in this family friendly show that will delight children of all ages.
The Snors Travelling Circus - This wondrous show is a cacophony of chaos and comedy as the Snor's thrill and delight the audience with their own brand of circus skills. Brought to you by Beeswax and Bottlecaps, this show is a thrill for all ages, as it pays tribute to vintage travelling circuses and their crazy contortion of skills. .
Warrnambool’s Fun4Kids festival is quite unique as it is the only festival of its type in Australia and although there are a few other children's events around the country there is nothing of this size or scale and it would be a great pity to see the festival close.
It really should be far more successful than it currently is, as it has all the right ingredients for success. It is held in winter school holidays when there is no other children's events and at a time when parents are looking for something to do with their children. It is staged in an undercover venue protected from inclement weather and Warrnambool is an ideal location for the event. Warrnambool has a good public transport infrastructure plus a good rail connection to Melbourne, and Warrnambool has plentiful amount of inexpensive accommodation during the winter months making it more economical for families to attend the festival.