Sunday, August 29, 2010

Be festy! Go to festivals!

Timing, as the man who turns up early to work on his day off will tell you, is everything. Well, I certainly admire the sense of timing and consideration shown by Melbourne arts and event administrators, as evidenced by their scheduling over the next month: at least five separate, major calendar events are happening, and if they're not exactly happening all at once, then they're certainly trying very hard to do so.

Check it out: the Melbourne Writers Festival goes from August 27 to September 5, which overlaps with the Darebin Music Feast, going from September 4 through to September 19, which runs concurrently with the Overland Poetry Festival, going from September 10 through to September 19, not to mention the similarly scheduled SF Aussiecon, running from September 2 to September 9, with the AFL Grand Final finishing proceedings on September 25. That's an event no-one knew about, running at the same time as an event no-one wanted to go to, and an event everyone wanted to avoid, as well as an event nobody would be able to get to anyway, concluding with an event that absolutely no-one in the world would want to attend apart from everyone else (who are nobody in particular, anyway). I suppose you might say all the events administrators wanted to help no-one, in as comprehensive a manner as possible.

It looks very much like those people concerned with Melbourne events (and what a concerning thing they are) wanted to help all those people who didn't want to attend those events, not attend several of the events, all at the same time. True, their organisation wasn't perfect, and many of the events still end up occurring at different times. And if people aren't careful they might find themselves actually attending one of the events, accidentally. In a few more years time, however, hopefully we will be able to see all of the above mentioned events happen at once, in the same place, and everyone can fail to attend the events at their leisure, perhaps in a little venue just down the road from the place at which everything is happening, known as 'home'.

In the future, perhaps, updated festival programs could contain not only all events, but all competing events, that you might attend in the event that their event is not the event you wanted to turn up to, eventually. Also, for full accuracy, they should, in all fairness, schedule in the activities that you partake in at 'home' during the time that their events are running (eg: 5 pm - 6 pm, playing with bits of string dangled in front of cats, drinking cup of tea, watching telly). I certainly know what I am planning to do at the time that the planners of those festival plans have planned their plans to take place, and my plans do not coincide well with the plans of the festival planners.

One day, hopefully, cultural festivals and events will be so hard to get to, that they will be left up to cultural professionals, who are paid to attend such events, and carry on with the awesome responsibility of making this city respectable and cultural and hip and sophisticated and urban and shit. In the meantime, the rest of us can just sit around at home being uninteresting, uncultured slobs, doing boring things like writing sonnets, or listening to music, or reading books, or watching DVDs, or holding dinner parties. I certainly look forward to it.


Dan the VespaMan said...

Terrific! I look forward to not reading the reviews of those festivals.

You should sell some souvenirs. T-shirts emblazoned with "I Stayed Home" on them and coffee mugs with "What Festival?" printed on them.

mike said...

Here in Sydney, events organisers are doing their best to reduce festival/event attendance by staging them on an island.

Even better, the island is full of rusty old industrial buildings which are more interesting than most exhibitions or events, so even the people who manage to get there will be distracted from what they came to see.

TimT said...

Brilliant idea! They could do something similar here in Melbourne - hold them on Phillip Island maybe? Everyone would be distracted by the penguins.

By the way, if any one sees me at any of those events in the next few weeks it was just an accident.

TimT said...

Oh look. You can also add Melbourne Fringe festival to that list - starts on September 22.

Mitzi G Burger said...

I wouldn't mind festival events having a home delivery option to comibe with the tea-drinking and cat-cuddling.

TimT said...

If ordinary activities at home were administered by festivally people, then it would probably consist of only 15-20 minutes of cat cuddling, followed by a 40 minute interview of the cats by an ABC celebrity*. And you'd have to wait in a queue if you wanted a chance to talk to the cats yourself.

*ABC celebrities - just like normal celebrities, only no-one knows them.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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