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Australia Day Eve Concert

By johnboy 27 January 2009 39

[First filed: January 26, 2009 @ 00:43]

When I was younger and dumber I actually backpacked around a lot of Europe with an Australian flag on the back of my pack. So it’s fair to say I’m rather fond of the flag and think it’s actually a pretty good symbol of Australia.

On that note who am I to begrudge the current crop of young and dumb their own moment of patriotic fervour?

But it remains that the Australia Day Live concert is a strange beast. Having attended my first one tonight I feel prepared to have a poke around what’s going on here.

The most important thing about the concert(s) is that it’s really pitched at 16 year old girls, and people who like being around them (i.e. young men).

(More and a slideshow below)

The other thing you need to understand is that it’s several different business transactions. Different TV networks take control at different times, there are awkward pauses in different ad breaks, and the MC is more of a warm-up guy.

In exchange for the “FREE” concert the audience agrees to present a series of TV friendly images to the rest of the nation.

This is brilliant because a lot of 16 year old girls LOVE the idea of being on TV. Everyone wins.

Tonight had other pieces of marvellous strangeness.

The Commonwealth Bank had provided cardboard lawn seats, basically a folded backrest and a panel for resting your bum on. But heavier Australians bust up the backrest, so surveying a row of these seats gave instant weight readings.

They were also distributing little yellow battery powered fans on a neck lanyard. At first glance they looked like the classic “dick’n’balls”. Nothing more Australian than that really, bravo!

And did I mention the flags? Everywhere you looked a different way to display the Australian flag.

Which really got me thinking about the battle cry of the Barmy Army in Australia. “Get yore shite stars orf our flag”.

I guess the union jack is reasonably fashionable in its own right, doubly so with some Australian stars on it.

For those worried about the southern cross brigade though, I’m happy to report that the crowd was thoroughly multicultural. The large non-anglo component of the audience seemed to be pretty happy with celebrating both the day and the flag.

But just in case you weren’t in the spirit security guards were distributing both temporary flag tatoos and little plastic flags.

At every moment we were exhorted to visit the merch tent where various stars of the evening would sign stuff of theirs after you bought it.

The sixteen year old girls seemed to really, really like it. And the fans of sixteen year old girls were also pretty happy.

While I’m not entirely sure about how the money all works out it seemed like harmless fun for a lot of people.

What’s Your opinion?


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Australia Day Eve Concert
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New Yeah 9:49 pm 27 Jan 09

I went to the Australia Day concert in 2008 and hear Tim Freedman from the Whitlams say to the flag wearing youth something along the lines of:
“The flag belongs on a pole, not on your back”.

I’m no fan of Freedman or his music but I liked this call.

I just got back from the Melbourne Big Day Out (held on Australia Day) and can report that there were far fewer people wearing flags than there were at Sydney Big Day Outs (also held on Australia Day) in recent years.

To paraphrase the Chaser, anyone who takes fashion tips from Pauline Hanson needs to reconsider what they are wearing.

AngryHenry 3:20 pm 27 Jan 09

misspris said :

What on earth were the Commonwealth Bank thinking handing out all that trash for people to sit on? I’d have thought cleaning up after an event like that would be a big enough job without having to remove all that crap as well.

The Commonwealth Banks should have got the band from their latest ad to play at the show. I might have showed up then.

misspris 2:22 pm 27 Jan 09

What on earth were the Commonwealth Bank thinking handing out all that trash for people to sit on? I’d have thought cleaning up after an event like that would be a big enough job without having to remove all that crap as well.

Mr Evil 9:45 am 27 Jan 09

Eyeball In A Quart Jar Of Snot said :

Personally, I don’t see the attraction in flag waving jingoism.

But, I also don’t celebrate English colonialism.

Well you and Mick Dodson can both work on Australia Day then since you both dislike it so much!

AngryHenry 9:36 am 27 Jan 09

Never gone to one and I never will.

It’s a pathetic excuse for a concert and should be branded as more of a casting call for extras because all you are is part of a rent-a-crowd for a TV broadcast… Watching someone sing a couple fo songs and then waiting for someone to do a piece to camera is not my idea of a concert at all.

Woody Mann-Caruso 9:02 am 27 Jan 09

It’s good that they take pride in our nation and our country, if wearing their flag proudly signifies this

Except that’s not why they wear it. They wear it because their friends all wear it that way. It’s part of a uniform – tank top, board shorts, white canvas shoes, and our national icon scrunched around their scrawny necks and left to dangle over their arses. It says “Look at me! I’m Captain F*n Australia!” It’s all about celebrating them, not Australia.

imarty 8:58 pm 26 Jan 09

I was waiting last November to get a tattoo (personal design) and whilst there I witnessed one young bloke with his dad (he was under 18) come in to book a time to get a southern cross tatt and another 2 browsers enquiring about SC tatts.
At least the person behind the counter cautioned them about the boganity that may follow as it was by far the most common tattoo being done of late.
BTW it was Queanbeyan…

bd84 8:19 pm 26 Jan 09

Genie said :

People wearing the flag as a cape shits me for some reason.

Shits me too Woody… The flag is an icon, and should be treated that way. Actually what I hated the most was the 16yr old girls walking around with the flag wrapped around as a dress.

There always has to be some people who has to complain and whinge about something so stupid. Would it be better if they framed the flag and hung it on their wall at home and saluted it every morning? maybe we should ban displaying it at all except at official gatherings too?

It’s good that they take pride in our nation and our country, if wearing their flag proudly signifies this and shows others their pride, then they have every right to do so and can wear the flag as much as they like.

Deckard said :

Hawaii.

How many countries have the southern cross on their flag – just like Australia?

Pretty much every island nation in the south pacific..

Pandy 8:06 pm 26 Jan 09

Fracking Kiwis for one.

Brazil, Samoa and Papua New Guinea.

Deckard 5:23 pm 26 Jan 09

Hawaii.

How many countries have the southern cross on their flag – just like Australia?

ChrisinTurner 5:19 pm 26 Jan 09

Which USA state has the Union Jack in the corner – just like Australia? This is a test.

RuffnReady 4:43 pm 26 Jan 09

Yeah, the flag-waving jingoism is all fine and good in a context like this, but when it’s used by some sections of the community to promote discrimination, it’s despicable.

I think it pays to keep in mind the good old Aussie “fair-go” ethic when trumpeting the virtues of our country. Comparative nationalism (“We’re better than you!”) is both idiotic and dangerous.

Madman 1:23 pm 26 Jan 09

This years wasnt like the previous… It wasn’t even a live concert on TV.

And there were various concerts which wasn’t explained at all. One that is airing next saturday on Video Hits – Rock the House then one on tonight on Max on Foxtel…

Genie 12:49 pm 26 Jan 09

Nothing screams “I am a complete bogan tool” quite like a Southern Cross tattoo.

Ummmm its called Aussie pride, are all the athletes who have the Southern Cross or the flag tattoo’d bogans too ?

As for the tool in the main picture with “Ozzy” on him arm. Everytime I saw him I wanted to slap him. ITS AUSSIE !

People wearing the flag as a cape shits me for some reason.

Shits me too Woody… The flag is an icon, and should be treated that way. Actually what I hated the most was the 16yr old girls walking around with the flag wrapped around as a dress.

But just in case you weren’t in the spirit security guards were distributing both temporary flag tatoos and little plastic flags.

Damn the stupid ignorant security guards. I walked up to the same security guard 3 times when they were handing out the green hats and asked politely for a hat, even standing right infront of the bugger. Seems my choice of words needed to be “Oi, Gimme a hat” as that worked for everyone else. Manners clearly got me no where.

BTW, was last night’s broadcast on Channel 10?

Roadrage – they announced that the concert would be on Channel 10 next Saturday for Video Hits.

FINALLY – can I just point out…. some more god damn port-a-loo’s would have been nice.

harley 12:46 pm 26 Jan 09

I like the use of the beer-fridge as a lectern/podium onstage… A great aussie touch…

Die Lefty Scum 11:27 am 26 Jan 09

Nothing screams “I am a complete bogan tool” quite like a Southern Cross tattoo.

Eyeball In A Quart Jar Of Snot 11:18 am 26 Jan 09

Personally, I don’t see the attraction in flag waving jingoism.

But, I also don’t celebrate English colonialism.

farnarkler 11:08 am 26 Jan 09

ant, you are lucky to be allowed to wave the flag. Try waving the Union Jack here in London and the authorities will tell you that it’s upsetting to the ethnic minorities.

dexi 10:55 am 26 Jan 09

A few years back the most popular tattoo was the Australian flag. I remember a tattooist complaining about the number of flags he was doing.

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