USK Ed Event: Townsville Sketchfest – CANCELLED

Image credit: Gerakd Soworka 

Dear sketchers

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, I must unfortunately announce that Townsville Sketchest is cancelled for this year. This event was scheduled for Friday 5 – Sunday 7 June 2020 and also applies to the Magnetic Island sketch walk on Monday 8 June as well.

This is due to the current advice of the Queensland and Australian Governments with respect to the safety of public gatherings. Unfortunately, the requirement to cancel all non-essential, organised gatherings of more than 100 people (indoor events) and 500 people (outdoor events) applies to Townsville Sketchfest as due to your amazing support we had 130 attendees (ticket holders, artists and organisers). Further, flight availability and the mandatory two-week quarantine requirements for our overseas artists make it impossible to continue with the current program. Townsville Sketchfest also values the safety of our artists, attendees and volunteers above all else, and though this situation is extremely disappointing it is clearly not worth compounding the risk to our community.

I value artists and the economic impact that art tourism can bring to an area, especially a regional city like Townsville. To cancel this event is bitterly disappointing both in terms of withdrawing work for artists but also in delivering a financial boost to a city through an arts event. A great deal of time and effort has gone into this event and I would like to thank you for the support you’ve shown in selling the event out twice in mid January and late January! Please be assured that I will be seeking to program Townsville Sketchfest for June next year (tentative dates: 4-7 June 2021) once this current health crisis has abated. I will contact you directly once I have confirmed Townsville City Council’s commitment to the event.

If you purchased a ticket this will be fully refunded though the Eventbrite system (i.e. to the credit card with which you made the purchase). Please be patient as I work through this process. As you can imagine, with so many events being cancelled the ticketing systems are under immense pressure.

Once again, thank you for your support and until we next sketch together – stay safe.

Michael Pope

Townsville Sketchfest and Urban Sketchers Townsville

5 – 7 June 2020 

If you’ve ever wanted to draw in a community, learn to draw or are looking for something new then join us for three days of drawing in Townsville and its surrounds. Grab your sketchbook, pens and come sketch for winter in the tropics.

Your ticket ($127.69 – $159.34 AUD) includes a selection of two workshops led by artists: Eleanor Doughty (USA), Vincent Desplanche (FR), Gary Geraths (USA), Peter Rush (Sydney), Carole Howlett (Townsville), Gerald Soworka (Townsville), Gai Copeman (Townsville), and Ron McBurnie (Townsville). In addition, it also gives you access to:

  • Official Townsville Sketchfest launch at Drill Hall Studio in conjunction with PechaKucha 20 x 20 (includes artist talks by each tutor in PK’s iconic format) 
  • Saturday sketch walk (CBD) 
  • Sunday sketch walk (The Strand) 
  • Eat, Drink & Draw event at Heritage Exchange 
  • Closing event at Drill Hall Studio 

See below for the schedule of Townsville Sketchfest. Workshop briefs, material lists, biographical information on each artist and tickets are available on link below. See the “details” section of the ticket for more information about the listed events.

Tickets available:

Image credit: Vincent Desplanche

Schedule of events 

Friday 5 June 2020

5 – 6 pm: Registration at Drill Hall Studio

6 for 6:30 pm: Official Townsville Sketchfest launch in conjunction with
PechaKucha 20 x 20 event 

Saturday 6 June 2020

8:30 am: Briefing at Drill Hall Studio

9 – 11:30 am: Workshop

2 – 5 pm: Sketch walk (departs from The Drill Hall Studio)

6 pm: Eat, Drink & Draw

 *please note that Eat, Drink & Draw is an official event. This is simply an opportunity for sketchers to gather at a place to do as the name implies. The venue will be announced closer to the event.

Sunday 7 June 2020 

8:30 am: Briefing at Drill Hall Studio

9 – 11:30 am: Workshop

 2 – 5 pm: Sketch walk (departs from The Drill Hall Studio)

6 :30 pm: Closing event

Monday 8 June 2020

9:30 am – 3 pm: Sketch walk on Magnetic Island with Urban Sketchers Townsville.

 *ferry /bus ticket, lunch not included

Feel free to join Urban Sketchers Townsville for a sketch walk around Magnetic Island on the Monday after Townsville Sketchfest. We’ll sketch from Alma Bay for the relaxed drawers and the Forts Walk for the fitter types. Then on to Horseshoe Bay for some lunch. Please note this is a regular Urban Sketchers meet so is free for all to join and not an official part of the Townsville Sketchfest. You will need to purchase your own Sealink ferry and bus ticket. Join Urban Sketchers Townsville group on Facebook for details of the event. 

For further information please email:, or phone Michael Pope on: +61 409 871 977

Townsville Sketchfest is supported through the Regional Arts Development Fund, a partnership between the Queensland Government and Townsville City Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Townsville Sketchfest would like to further thank all sponsors, volunteers and in kind supporters including The Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville, Sealink, The Drill Hall Studio, PechaKucha Townsville, Urban Sketchers Townsville, Heritage Exchange, Dave’s Pizza Ovens, Tonoirs Espresso Bar and Insideout Architects.


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