LET THE FESTIVAL BEGIN: Behind the scenes of FraserPop 3.0
SAMANTHA Ireland sat anxiously in the FraserPop boardroom meeting, waiting for the next suggestion from the event organisers.
When they pitched the Queensland Pops Orchestra - one of the state's leading freelance orchestras that had performed sold-out shows at Brisbane' QPAC theatre - she said her eyes almost popped out of her head.
At the time, it seemed like an impossible achievement.
"It was a bit of a 'What?!' moment, it seemed a bit unrealistic," 17-year-old Samantha, who is one of the marketing co-ordinators for FraserPop, said.
But a day out from the Fraser Coast's leading pop culture festival, which has become a cultural staple of Maryborough State High School, the orchestra's lead conductor Patrick Pickett will lead a special performance on the opening night of FraserPop.
Over a six-month period, the committee made the impossible happen.
Mountains of emails and careful planning down to the tiniest details are about to pay off for the organising committee of plucky senior students this weekend.
Now in its third year, the festival has grown big and powerful enough to lure the talents of major actors and pop culture figures to the streets of the Heritage City.
Ex-WWE wrestler and Hollywood star Nathan Jones will return again, but the students also managed to secure the talent of Stephen Hunter, who has starred in The Hobbit, All Saints and Blue World Order.
With an activity line-up that ranges from jousting to cosplay competitions, it's hard to believe this level of organisation came from a handful of senior students studying for their business diploma.
"There is that added pressure because adults normally organise events like this and even they find it stressful," Samantha said.
"And we'd never done it before," her fellow marketing co-ordinator Makayla Emery said.
But teacher Cecilia Kovacic, who had headed direction on the festival for the last few years, said the festival shows how much potential these talented students have.
"These guys don't realise how much they can achieve in such a short period of time, because they are constantly assessed," Ms Kovacic said.
"They all excel, it's amazing and you can see the growth they all go through over the six month period.
"At first, we weren't sure if it would get to where it was: in the first year we thought we would be lucky if we got 2500 people through the gates.
"It was more than double that... each year it's amazed us as to how much it's grown."
FraserPop will run from 10am-4.30pm on Saturday and 10am-3.30pm on Sunday at Maryborough State High School. Entry is free.
Events/activities on the weekend:
- Movie and TV props, replicas and displays
- Jumping castles
- Workshops and panels (including with Stephen Hunter and Nathan Jones)
- Card games
- Laser tag
- Virtual reality
- Sons of Obiwan lightsaber academy
- 501st Redback Garrison displays
- Mad Hatter's Tea Party
- Games and tournaments