For those of you unacquainted with Floriade, each year in Canberra, more than one million blooms combine to create a stunning backdrop to a month-long festival filled with music, cultural celebrations, horticultural workshops, artistic displays, entertainment and recreational activities. Floriade runs from mid-September to mid-October and attracts more than 480,000 attendees each year. This year the glamour stakes were raised however, with the first time addition of Adelaide performer Anya Anastasia, who is attending the festival for 5 days.
Fresh off the back of her successful Edinburgh Fringe tour, Anya has only just arrived back in Australia. While she was in the UK she won “The Voice” Pick of the Fringe award. (The Voice is a UK magazine), and walked away with multiple 4 and 5 star reviews, as well as international touring offers which will keep her busy for the next two years.
After her accolades at Edinburgh, Anya took a sneaky glamping holiday in the highlands of Scotland for a week to taste whisky, look for puffins and sea eagles and hike across mountains and glens! It’s little wonder she has so much inspiration for her shows!
So, back to Floriade.
Anya has become the belle of the ball, wearing a pretty incredible flower dress that she made herself, and she’s a massive hit with visitors to the festival. When we asked her if there had been many selfies she laughs. “So many people took selfies! It’s a constant line up! I calculate it to be one per 15 seconds for the whole time I’m roving, so that makes it 240 an hour and I’m doing 2 hours a day… 480 selfies a day! And I get to the end of the day and realise I forgot to take a photo myself! My whole purpose for being in Canberra is to be part of this fabulous festival.”
This is the third year in a row she’s made a flower dress during Spring – usually making one for the Stirling Laneways, which is starting this Sunday in the Adelaide Hills. Anya herself is the entertainment director for the Stirling Laneways, which is a great South Australian monthly event during the warmer months, and this Sunday will see great street performers and singers as well as markets galore!
This year Anya will be missing Stirling Laneways, after being poached by Floriade, and while she’s sorry to be missing the SA event, she thinks it’s fabulous to be included in this amazing flower festival!
The dress is made of over 200 flowers, and that doesn’t include the base which is woven with Geraldton Wax and Thryptomene. Over the years, Anya has experimented with flower dress designs, to find a way to make them last through the long days and various weather conditions, and she’s finally hit the winning design. She wires in water vials to keep the flowers alive, so each stem has its own water source. Most of the flowers are ranunculus / ranunculi because they’re her favourite. “They are so lush and texturally rich and bold, while still being delicate and ornate.” There are also poppies, daisies, daffodils, and other flowers donated mostly by SA growers. If you can believe it, Anya drove up to Canberra with them in the car in buckets and the air con on! Talk about commitment to a look!
After Floriade, Anya will be adding Adelaide Fringe to her festival line up, and will be bringing Rogue Romantic to SA in 2018. The award-winning show will be back, but it will be a brand spanking new version of the show, fresh from success in the UK, and she’ll be in a beautiful Spiegeltent . Tickets are on sale on the 11th October, but if you can’t wait that long, she’s also doing an intimate version of the show, WITH DINNER at the beautiful Star of Greece restaurant in Port Willunga on the 13th October. Sounds good to us!
Floriade runs from now until the 15th of October, with Nightfest (basically Floriade at night with lots of pretty lights, food, drinks and entertainment) rolls over two weekends – from the 22nd and the 29th.
To give you a taste of what’s in store, here’s some snaps from the festival.