14 March 2013

YOU ARE HERE - It begins

| Barcham
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You Are Here has descended upon our fair City for the third time. In a time where random d-list personalities are making fun of Canberra for attention and profit, and birthday celebrations maybe don’t have enough food vans, it can be easy to fall into despair. Fear not though, there is a cure. No it’s not writing angry letters to the BBC or arguing on Twitter. Instead come on down and take part in Canberra’s most diverse, experimental, free, and well dressed festival. The best rebuttal is to have the best time.

The You Are Here website has some handy info on how to do You Are Here.


— Free as in events cost no money, and free as in you’re free to check out whatever you want whenever suits.

— Pick up a program from around Civic or drop by our festival hubs Fletcher Jones and the Watch House any time from Thurs 14 – Sun 24 March and ask the people there what’s happening that day.

— ALL VENUES ARE ACCESSIBLE. If you have specific accessibility needs please drop us a line.

— THIS IS FOR YOU. If you’re in Canberra this month, this is for you, for free, for real, as a gift, with no expectations or obligations, and our love.

You Are Here have been kind enough to offer me a desk in their Fletcher Jones festival hub, so for the next two weeks I’ll be spending a lot of time working from here. For those of you that want to hear me rant about the festival, this is good news. If you want to hear about the festival but specifically want to hear about it from somebody other than me, we’ve got you covered too. We will be taking care of your needs too. A wide assortment of wordsmiths will be writing about the festivities. You Are Here Writer in residence Andrew Galan will be sending us words daily. Festival producers and curators will be sharing their stories with us. You’ve seen some of these already.

Finally, we’re very excited to be involved with Scissors Paper Pen‘s Papercuts program. They’re supplying us with two enthusiastic writers, Cas Le Nevez and Ashley Goldburg, who will be writing reviews and thoughts about the festival. Neither You Are Here or RiotACT will be involved in telling these guys what to write, we’ll just provide the events and the forum then let them work their magic.

Oh yeah, and Johnboy will probably have a thing or two to say.

Some of you Rioters might not are at all about You Are Here. Maybe you don’t like free things, you have an allergy to music, or perhaps performance art killed your Father. If that is the case fee free to ignore any of this extra content. RiotACT will still be posting the stories that RiotACT usually posts, and after the 24th You Are Here will be over and we shall return to normal and we can all argue about cyclists again.

FULL DISCLOSURE: They have given me a badge, trusted me with the staff WiFi password, and included me in their group photo. Any journalistic integrity I may have previously had has been completely compromised.


UPDATE. 13.00: I’ll be chucking updates up into these daily articles. The Festival has officially started. Drew Walky is telling stories and playing songs, a wonderful audience has wandered in to be entertained during their lunch break, and all is right with the world. Good job everyone. Lunchbox Concert Series. These lunchtime gigs will continue, come check one out.

UPDATE 14.00: You Are Here features workmen AND poets together in the same gig. Both are enthusiastically applauded. Now CJ Bowerbird is here and he is electric.

UPDATE. 15.55: Police! Day one, a drug bust on our street. A good omen?


[Photos courtesy of the magnificent Adam Thomas and You Are Here]

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This was just so good, Drew is both quirky and cute, but for me, to see a whole performance from CJ Bowerbird was wonderful. In the middle of the day! With no childcare worries! No wonder I felt vaguely ecstatic…

Plus I got the best seat, or chaise, in the place.

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