ARN and KISS 1065 celebrate third year of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival partnership

ARN is gearing up for one of its biggest annual celebrations of diversity, inclusivity and Sydney’s vibrant culture with the launch of KIIS 1065’s third consecutive year as an official media partner of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival. 

KIIS 1065’s involvement will be bigger and better than ever, with a huge line up of activations and integrations planned across the two-week festival embracing this year’s ‘Fearless’ theme. 

The celebrations, which kick off on February 15, will again culminate in KIIS 1065’s participation in the iconic Mardi Gras parade on March 2, with a float and live broadcast from the event. This year’s KIIS 1065 float will again showcase The Kyle & Jackie O Show, supported by iHeartRadio.

In 2018, KIIS 1065’s Kyle & Jackie O, along with KIIS newsreader Brooklyn Ross and Kyle’s girlfriend Imogen Anthony, were on the parade float and were joined by ARN and KIIS 1065 staff to celebrate Mardi Gras.

ARN’s Chief Marketing Officer Anthony Xydis said partnering with the iconic Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was important to ARN with staff from all areas of the business involved in the planning and execution of activity across the festival.

“ARN are proud supporters of diversity and inclusion. Since 2017, ARN’s partnership with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has been supported and embraced by people across the business, making it not only one of the most exciting times of the year but also one of the most important for further strengthening ARN’s values of energy, authenticity, creativity and action.

“The festival is one of the best times to be in Sydney, bringing people from across the world and all walks of life together in a true celebration of equality, diversity, and love. It’s a perfect fit for KIIS 1065 which celebrates and embodies Sydney’s vibrant culture.”

The 2019 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival begins on Friday 15 February and runs for two weeks until Sunday 3 March, and includes a comprehensive program of events, exhibitions, music and theatre to celebrate Australia’s LGBTQI community. For more details, head to

Source: Sydney Mardi Gras Festival

Mental as Anything are playing at your Party!

Once upon a time, a group of art students passed themselves off as a band in order to con the local publican into giving them a gig in exchange for free beer. The deception worked better than intended with the group receiving beer in return for music and came to be known as Mental as Anything.

Four decades later, they are still irritating the public with their highly listenable, idiosyncratic brand of garage pop and to celebrate the anniversary of their first release, Mental as Anything Play at Your Party, the Mentals have released the 7-track EP on vinyl available exclusively at, as well as releasing a brand new 40 minute, hi-definition, multi camera film to celebrate the milestone.

Mental as Anything Live was recorded in front of a live audience at Surfersaurus in Hillsdale, in October 2018, by Moshcam and is a multi-camera production capturing the Mentals’ trademark fat sound mixed by long-time collaborator producer/engineer, Steve James (RocknRoll Music, Cyclone Raymond, 5 Track EP).

From The Nips Are Getting Bigger, Come Around, If You Leave Me Can I Come Too and Too Many Times, through to Live It Up, You’re So Strong and Let’s Cook, Mental as Anything supplied the soundtrack to suburban Australia – brilliantly crafted pop hits that evoke wonderful memories. Their 25 Top 40 charting songs were, for a long time, a record for an Australian band and are a wonderful illustration of the depth of their catalogue and their song-writing ability.

Founding member, Greedy Smith, said “Since 1977 the longest break I’ve had from playing with Mentals is 6 weeks in 1989/90 when I fell off a horse. Martin Plaza has been off the road for over two years now and I feel so proud of the players I have around me and the way the songs have been sounding I felt we had to properly record our live show and film it. We rounded up some pals to play to and just let rip.”

“We recorded through (our guitarist) Martin Cilia’s old Sonic Workshop mixing desk that Harry Vanda and George Young used to write on and then Steve James took it up to Brisbane to mix at Red Engine Studio” Greedy added. “Now if punters can’t get to our shows, for the life of me I don’t know why, we’ve been playing everywhere forever, if they can’t make it to the shows this recording shows ’em what they’ve missing.”

Mental as Anything is led by Greedy Smith, together with ex-Atlantics guitarist Martin Cilia, drummer Jacob Cook, guitarist/vocalist Craig Gordon and bassist/vocalist Peter Gray.

Mental as Anything Plays at Your Party on vinyl is available now from The soundtrack to Mental as Anything Live, aka Mental as Anything at Play, is available to stream on Apple Music, Google and Spotify now and the CD will be released on Friday, 25 January 2019.

To stream and/or download Mental as Anything Live, go to

Source: Mental as Anything

Paul Bangay + Thomas Hamel at Cape Kidnappers: Classics Reinvented

With new ventures, projects and books under their belts, the “dream team of design” Paul Bangay and Thomas Hamel will return to Cape Kidnappers in 2019 for the first time in four years.

They’re ready to share their fresh and timeless design philosophies and passion with like-minded enthusiasts across an indulgent weekend of beauty, style, gardens and design, all set to the spectacular backdrop of The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.

Paul’s gardens are renowned for their timeless elegance and classic simplicity, and his extensive projects throughout Australia and New Zealand, as well as Europe, North America and the West Indies, make him a major player on the international stage.

Thomas is equally international, and a master of the edit. Think rooms where layers and textures seamlessly interweave, and a crisp newness and serenity pervades – the Thomas Hamel hallmark!

Mix and mingle with Thomas and Paul over Craggy Range wines on Friday night as the weekend kicks off. Saturday’s programme includes inspired illustrated talks and lodge and property walks with Thomas and Paul as they share more aesthetic insights

International designer Thomas Hamel’s will discuss his passion for “Classics Reinterpreted” – fresh and modern takes on the enduring classic style. He’ll talk you through homes where his translations of the past evolve into inspirational and relevant designs for today’s living.

Landscape designer, garden guru and prolific author of countless books, Paul Bangay will discuss favourite projects and ideas for designing gardens of any size. With ideas from his soon to be published book “Small Garden Design”, Paul will showcase gardens of a range of scales – from country garden properties to chic city residences, to charming and clever rooftop terrace and balcony gardens for modern apartment living.

A special weekend highlight will be Saturday night’s tasting menu from Head Chef James Honore with wine matches from New Zealand’s iconic Craggy Range wines. Dinner will be hosted by the Peabody family owners, who will share their family’s story and passion, and their own classic reinterpretations of single vineyard and prestige collection wines.

Expect a weekend of fellowship and fun with these international savvy designers and a top family of wine!

The Classics Reinvented Weekend with Paul Bangay + Thomas Hamel is available at special event rates offering great value and fun. Event tariff is NZ$1,800 + GST per person, based on double occupancy and includes:

Two nights’ suite accommodation at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
Friday night welcome cocktail featuring a welcome by the weekend hosts Paul + Thomas
Pre-dinner drinks and canapes, full daily breakfast and complimentary non-alcoholic mini-bar
A la carte gourmet dinner on Friday
Presentations from Paul Bangay and Thomas Hamel
Tasting menu dinner on Saturday night, with wines to match from Craggy Range Wines.
Guest’s choice of a day of unlimited green fees OR a 50-minute spa treatment per person per stay.
More Event Series weekends at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers and The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs will be announced in early 2019.

Visit for more info.

For reservations at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers contact ph: + 64 9 407 0065 or email

Source: Roberts On Lodges

Aussie celebs profess their love for Paris in new campaign

The French Tourism Board has revealed just how much Australians adore Paris in an online campaign that features a host of famous Aussies professing their love for the region.

The digital Visit Paris Region campaign, J’Aime Paris, is spearheaded by a short video and is being rolled out with the aim of encouraging Australians to visit the gems of Paris Region. Created in partnership with the Paris Region Tourism Board, the French Tourism Board asked seven Australian celebrities to declare their love for Paris on screen, and they happily obliged.

Featuring actor Paul Hogan, two-time Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, Chef Guillaume Brahimi, Director Baz Luhrmann, Designer & Producer Catherine Martin, Fashion Designer Collette Dinnigan, and internationally renowned singer Tina Arena, the video provides one minute of wanderlust inducing declarations of love and imagery of one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

Showcasing iconic monuments and original ways to discover the City of Lights, the campaign also aims to highlight the region’s cultural offerings, history, and of course the city’s incredible food and wine scene.

Closing with a heartfelt address from Valerie Pécresse, President of Paris Region, the video serves as a warm welcome to Australians from Paris.

France receives more than 1.2 million Australian tourists every year* and the J’Aime Paris campaign will no doubt reignite a passion for Paris in those who have already been, and spark a desire to visit for those who haven’t. The Visit Paris Region website provides an essential overview of the area from the well known attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and Moulin Rouge to lesser explored aspects of the city including green spaces, golf, excursions, shopping tips, and even theme parks.

For those who want someone else to do the planning, the site also offers itineraries, themed guides, and lists of top experiences to consider.

Source: Visit Paris

Monty Python’s SPAMALOT Hayes Theatre Co - full cast announced

Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, SPAMALOT re-tells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Guided by the fabulous belting diva The Lady of the Lake, the knights battle their way past various cows, killer rabbits, and French people in pursuit of claiming the legendary Grail.

Monty Python’s SPAMALOT was a smash hit in both New York and London, and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. Now the show comes to Sydney for the very first time, in a production that re-defines the word ‘epic’. Really, really re-defines it.

A diverse, cross-gender cast of heroic/foolish actors (and their assistant stage manager) embrace the satirical, home-made spirit of the original movie and the Monty Python TV series, enlisting the help of some carefully-chosen backdrops, a CD player, and – when all else fails – a large dose of meta-theatrical humour. From the minds of the director and choreographer of 2017’s smash-hit Calamity Jane – audiences should hold on tight, expect the unexpected, and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

“I’m really excited to mount this brand new production of Monty Python’s Spamalot – the anarchic, rule-breaking, hilarious world of Python is such a great fit for the Hayes”, said Director Richard Carroll.” “I’m especially excited to take the raucous meta-theatrical language we created in our production of Calamity Jane, and push it even further in this show. Plus, in 2019 we know that comedy knows no racial or gender barriers, and I’m excited to see a new generation of diverse performers (including some gender-swapped casting) bring new life to this beloved material. Thanks to the audience, it will be different every night – which I believe is what makes theatre so exciting.”

Source: Hayes Theatre