Australia's best street performers take centre stage

AUSTRALIA's best street entertainers will bring their performance art to the iconic streets of Surfers Paradise when the free, family-friendly Australian Street Entertainment Championships (ASEC) return this Easter long weekend, from Friday, March 25 to Monday, March 28.

The Gold Coast's world-famous holiday playground will transform into a sprawling stage set for the thrilling four-day annual event, as professional and amateur acts put out their hats and stop at nothing to elicit smiles, laughs, gasps and applause from their enthusiastic audiences.

An initiative of the Surfers Paradise Alliance, ASEC has earned its reputation as the country's premier open-air showcase of Australian and international street entertainers, presenting awe-inspiring acts covering the cultural spectrum from acrobatics to dance, music, magic, comedy and more.

More than 300,000 people are expected to visit Surfers Paradise over the four-day weekend to enjoy this eclectic event, with families, holiday-makers and fans of all ages set to delight as clowns, conjurers and crowd pleasers of all persuasions perform across five locations spread throughout the precinct.

In 2016, ASEC will introduce several exciting new elements, including a dazzling nightly show shaped around the diverse skills of the professional entertainment artists and weaved into a cohesive display of fearless energy by the evening's compere, creating a unique experience for audiences of each show.

A NEW competition format will see the calibre of performance reach a whole new level this year, with three major stages boasting feature shows from professional street entertainers who have each been selected for their ability to create seamless routines to intrigue and amaze.

Two smaller stages will provide a platform for up-and-coming stars, as local amateur street performers leave it all on the line as they battle it out to be crowned the 2016 Australian Street Entertainment Champion.

Spectators also have the chance to vote for their favourite amateur act, with the Viewer's Choice Award going to the most popular performer at the event's Grand Finale on Monday, March 28.

Roving performers will bring another layer of colour and excitement to the event as they engage and amuse visitors throughout the precinct.

Following ASEC, the spotlight shines on for Step Up Surfers Paradise dance competition, where dancers of all ages bring the heat to showcase their best moves across a range of genres, including hip-hop, breakdancing, jazz and Latin.

Taking place in the Pavilion Marquee from Tuesday, March 29 to Wednesday, March 30, Step Up is another high-octane free event and a big school holiday drawcard, as families and youth flock to the beachfront to see the Coast's best movers and shakers burn the floor in pursuit of major cash prizes and titles.

Applications for ASEC and Step Up competitors are now open. To get involved or to view a full schedule of events, please visit www.surfersparadise.com.

Australian Street Entertainment Championships

Dates: Friday 25 to Monday 28 March, 2016 (Easter long weekend)

Locations: Various locations throughout Surfers Paradise

Cost: Free

Step Up Surfers Paradise

Dates: Tuesday 29 to Wednesday 30 March, 2016

Locations: The Pavilion, Surfers Paradise Beach

Cost: Free for spectators


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