[First filed: November 30, 2008 @ 23:07]
From midnight 1 December the advance tickets for Corinbank 2009 are on sale from www.corinbank.com. The festival is running from 27 February to 1 March 2009.
On Sunday afternoon I sat down with organisers Nic Welbourn and Dan Watters to find out about where this unique Canberra music festival has come from, and where it’s going to.
Any of us who have travelled has been aware that the rest of the world has a multiplicity of festivals.
Those of us who have been to those festivals knows that unless you actually camp out for the full duration of the event you’re not getting the whole experience. Not even a tiny part of it.
Coming home muddy and dirty is part of the journey out to the beyond and the return to normality. A light sunburn just doesn’t cut it.
When I asked Dan about it he said the full festival experience was a cathartic experience, a removal from reality providing cleansing and an emergence from the other side after a departure from reality.
While in the last couple of years there’s been more day festivals in the region, Corinbank is the only one offering the full experience.
(Slideshow and more below)
Dan had a great inspiration to get it going, his father owns the Corin Forest Recreational Playground.
While recording an album up there with his band Eytis they took, on breaks, to speculating how they could use the site for a festival.
“I always wanted to do something up there,” Dan says.
The idea stuck, and Corinbank was born.
The guys were blown away by how well the event went this year, but have learnt some lessons going forward.
For a start they’re promising fires in the camp grounds to combat the cold mountain air.
(In fact any artists working in metal are encouraged to get in touch with designs for fire bins)
Under 16s are going to get in free this time around.
Warm showers are promised for the obsessive compulsives.
And the artistic program is being beefed up from four hours a day of performance art to a full time program.
In fact they’re looking for more submissions for their Creative Campsites, so if you’d like to share some knowledge with the public get in touch via their website and schedule something.
The idea is to create a marketplace of ideas (based on a gift economy of course).
A real priority for the organisers is getting the people of Canberra involved in the activities.
Sarah, a passerby to our conversation said; “So many festivals don’t include the community… Corinbank is something that hasn’t happened in Canberra before”.
While we’ll have to wait a week for the finalised lineup the organisers are promising it will be bigger and better than before.
When I asked Dan why festivals were finally taking off in Australia he said it might be because local acts were finally achieving the profile to headline these events without the need to import expensive international acts.
He was also keen to emphasise that no-one gets paid to organise Corinbank. They do it for the love and the party.
A big priority for this year is to make sure organisers have time to enjoy the party.
If the whole artistic program is ringing any “Burning Man” bells in followers of American alternative culture then they’ll be pleased to hear that the BM kingpin Johnny Payphone has been confirmed to attend.
The environment is a huge issue for the organisers. Last year’s Corinbank was the first festival in Australia to be powered entirely by generators burning biodiesel.
The environmental dialogue this year is moving out of a single tent into a whole village.
Which isn’t to say you have to sit around navel gazing on the environment unless you want to.
Amongst other attractions are free mountain bikes to borrow with trails running up to the waterfalls.
Dan says there’s nothing quite like having a beer in a natural swimming pool which empties down a 30m waterfall.
Other attractions not on offer in other festivals will include the Corin Forest waterslide, unprecedented opportunities to participate, 5km return hikes and an unique festival site in a mountain setting.
“We’ve really worked at making it an intimate, pleasant, experience,” says Dan.
The tickets on sale now are going for $90 for the three days, including two nights camping. They won’t stay that cheap for long so take the chance and get in now.
Here are some pictures from last year.
For more pictures of the first Corinbank check out the photo gallery pages.