AS PART of most of our major events – including our Grand Finals – we provide an opportunity for volunteers from the local community to be involved in part of our on-ground activations.

Having volunteers or community groups involved in on-ground mass activations is something that we and other major sports and major public events have been doing for decades and is in addition to paying professional musicians and singers to provide entertainment on stage.

With the 2020 AFL Grand Final being in Queensland for the first time, our executive producers Cochrane Entertainment and our production team have asked local Queensland community and amateur dance clubs and physie movement groups to take part in a mass activation that is in addition to organising paid singers and musicians to perform on stage.

Having the community involved in our biggest day is important and the choreographed activity that will be undertaken by hundreds of volunteers was designed to involve community members and amateur dancers. it was never intended or designed as a performance by professional dancers and no professional or paid dancers were approached to be involved in the segment.

COCHRANE ENTERTAINMENT ON THE GRAND FINAL MASS PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITY

As producers of the AFL Grand Final Entertainment, Queensland-based Cochrane Entertainment has today clarified its move to provide an opportunity for amateur dancers and community dance groups to be part of the AFL grand final entertainment.

Cochrane Entertainment said the performance was designed as an opportunity for members of Queensland community and amateur dance clubs and physie movement groups to take part in the Grand Final day entertainment in front of a crowd of 30,000 people.

The section of the entertainment was not designed for professional dancers and no professional or paid dancers were approached to be involved.

"As is done for most major sporting events, including the Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies on the Gold Coast, organisers try and involve as many local community dancers to take part in a mass activation," Thea Jeanes-Cochrane said.

"This is an opportunity to give community performers a chance on a big stage and the reason we have included it is to give an opportunity to hundreds of dancers who would never normally have the opportunity to perform in front of a crowd and a huge TV audience. They are not paid dancers – they are amateurs and this part of the program was never intended to be a performance for professionals – it is about engaging and showcasing community talent. This decision to offer volunteers opportunities at major events is common practice, a decision not involving the production team including the choreography team."

"We are also having parts of the entertainment where we will have paid local professional singers and musicians as the AFL does every year, but we also wanted to showcase Queensland and give Queensland community dancers and others the opportunity to be involved in this day. We are paying professional artists and musicians to perform but we are also proudly giving community groups an opportunity they would not normally have."

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Ms Jeanes-Cochrane said most major events, such as the recent 2018 Commonwealth Games, Katy Perry’s performance at the 2020 Cricket Women’s World Cup, and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo that recently toured Australia also had sections of the program where volunteers and community dancers took part, as is common practise.

"We only have a certain number of spots for community dancers and the response we have had from amateur and community performers from Brisbane and Gold Coast has been overwhelming. We have had to turn away a number of people who wanted this once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform in front of 30,000 people and to take part in history."

Ms Jeanes-Cochrane said the production company had consulted with the Media and Entertainment Arts Alliance (MEAA) to make them aware of our process to provide an opportunity to showcase community performers.

"There was never any intention to take work from professional dancers – it was always designed to provide an opportunity for members of local dance clubs and physie groups to participate," Ms Cochrane said.