Date: April 1-2, 2017
Location: The Old Museum, Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills (Brisbane)
Germaine Greer might argue that Writers Festivals are the home for bored retirees needing someone to talk at, but the truth is that festivals are desperately important to both the musical and literary scenes. They’re a chance to showcase the big-names, sure, but at their heart, they’re a place to learn, and discover more about ourselves, our world, and our art forms.
Take Brisbane’s ‘A Rock & Roll Writers Festival’. Debuting last year as a way to open the floor to the conversations that don’t often see a lot of airtime, in just two days of talks it cemented itself as a must-attend event in Brisbane’s musical and literary calendars. R&R Fest isn’t a place for those cheesy, cheerful conversations done to death in popular media, where everyone loves everything because conflict might impact sales. Instead, it’s a campfire around which deeply passionate, professional creatives unpack the glitz and glamour mentality to talk about the way the world really works when you’re a writer and/or musician.
For anyone worried that it sounds like one of those Rather Serious Events™ best suited to the hipsters and academics of the world: don’t worry. This isn’t a group therapy session for music tragics. It’s a celebration of the importance of music and writing, filled to overflowing with humour, sass, street cred and appeal. How they manage to walk the tightrope between important conversation and actual fun weekend, I’m not entirely sure. But however they’ve managed it, it works.
Last year’s festival shone a light on inclusivity and ethics in both the music and literary industries, with a diverse range of speakers on hand to talk festival goers through the complications of trying to change the world. It wasn’t always comfortable conversation, but the important convos so rarely are.
This year, the festival has a new venue at the Old Museum at Bowen Hills, and a stellar line up of creatives ready to tackle the important topics. Think Adalita from Magic Dirt; Tim Rogers of You Am I; upcoming goddess of soul Ngaiire; Medics front man, activist & musical storyteller Kahl Wallis; poet, author, and activist Melissa Lucashenko; photography god Tony Mott; local boy and perpetual reader fave Nick Earls… honestly, the list is heavily populated with awesome.
They’ll be talking about gender, freedom of speech, the importance of creativity for teens, life on the road and life staring at the page, and pretty much any other topic that takes their fancy. If you’re a fan of real conversations that ebb, flow, and dazzle, this is a not-to-be-missed event.
Entry is $70 for a one day pass, or $120 for the full weekend, with tickets available at http://oldmuseum.org/?p=4457