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You Are Here, it’s going to be that kind of festival

By johnboy - 7 February 2012 17

you are here newsroom

So an invite came in the mail:

You Are Here would like to invite you for a cup of tea and a chat about how things are going and such

David Finnigan
Feb 3 (4 days ago)

Dear Julia (aka BMA Magazine) and Johnboy (aka the RiotACT),

So I guess it sometimes feels as if all we do here at You Are Here is take, and there is no giving. And we’re conscious of that, because you guys are crazy generous and we are a trio of scattered imbeciles*, and so with that in mind we would like to offer up just a little love. Just a little, in the form of:

Tea with You Are Here
3pm Tuesday 7 March
Gus’ Cafe, Garema Place, Civic

Let’s be clear here: this is us providing tea for you (being BMA and RiotACT), not some double-dutch-everyone-pays nonsense. You come, tea is provided, we say thanks for all your hard work, and then if we all feel inclined, we might talk through the festival program with you. That way, if you’re interested in an artist or an event or similar, we can give you the artists’ contacts and give you their details in one fell swoop.

You can bring your whole team! You can bring only yourselves! You can bring cameras and notepads! Or not! The point is, there’ll be cups of tea and god knows you need them on a Tuesday afternoon.

That’s all. Hope you’re listening to rainy day music where you are.

All our love,
You Are Here Inc.

*though to be fair Lande is beautiful and wise and Hadley at least has a sort of rogueish charm

Being a fair way off I went to put that in my calendar, which upset both me and the calendar as 7 March is a Wednesday.

It turned out that my presence was instead required on Tuesday 7 February. Today.

Getting down to Gus’s on the stroke of three Julia and I congratulated each other on our punctuality and wondered at where the scattered imbeciles had got to.

We’d just started talking shop when my phone rang, it was Finnigan.

“Hi John, you should be able to see a woman in a black dress wearing an animal mask”

“Ummm, yes, I can see her”

“I need you to go up and talk to her”

“Errr, OK”.

She was standing next to the pedestrian crossing of Bunda Street and an Asian man was trying to engage her in conversation.

Quite what he was hoping to gain talking to a shapely woman, in an evening gown, wearing an animal mask, standing on the curb of Bunda St, remains a mystery to me.

But he broke off contact just as I was approaching and no sooner had I said “Hi” than she derisively flung a folder onto the ground, turned on her heel, and stalked away.

“BMA and RIOTACT” was scrawled in marker pen on the folder.

I picked it up, it was lumpy.

Inside was a pair of scissors, a sheet of A4 with a key taped to it, and on the paper words to the effect of “follow the woman in the black dress until you find the black and yellow box”.

I returned to Julia and explained that we appeared to have been shanghaied into an elaborate theatrical installation.

“The buggers probably have cameras on us.”

Julia informed me that she’d just ordered a coffee, and didn’t plan to leave without it.

This presented a conundrum. Staying would ruin the intended effect, but so would splitting up, assuming a limited supply of women in black dresses wearing animal masks in Civic on a Tuesday afternoon.

The inertia of sticking together, combined with the fear of facing the weird alone, won.

A few minutes later the woman in the mask returned and made come hither gestures.

“I just need to get my coffee” Julia shouted.

The figure disappeared.

A few minutes later my phone rang, it was Finnigan again.

“You’re meant to follow the woman in the dress!”

“I’ll just put you onto Julia” I said handing my phone over.

After a brief negotiation it was agreed that the coffee could be transfered to a take-away cup and, sparing further awkwardness, it arrived.

Gus’s were very obliging about the whole thing.

We stepped out into Garema Place and found the mysterious woman in the black dress who set off, always staying twenty metres ahead, barely acknowledging our existence.

For once when the chuggers attacked we had a good excuse.

“Sorry but I have to follow that woman in the black dress wearing an animal mask”.

The only thing that beats a chugger in the Garema Place calculus of fear is a lunatic, so they backed off. Fast.

Similarly bumping into a friend I had to make a swift and apparently insane explanation about why I had to move on.

Around where Petrie Plaza meets City Walk the woman in the black dress passed under a black petty cash tin adorned with bright yellow post it notes and suspended from a plane tree by twine.

Deploying both scissors and key we looked inside to discover tea bags.

And a note saying “Bring the tea bags to The Newsroom”.

As previously reported The Newsroom is the old Centrepoint newsagency, now repurposed as the hub for this year’s You Are Here Festival.

We made our way around the corner, the door was unlocked and a tea party was laid out on a rug in the old storefront.

We sat down, started sneezing from the dust of long neglect, laptops were produced, and the program was explained to us.

Without wanting to give away spoilers it’s one hell of a show they’ve got planned for March.

Keep your eyes peeled to the You Are Here website, BMA if you like reading things printed with poison onto dead trees, and of course here for more details as they’re released.

There are some seriously fun things coming down the pipe and something for young, old, both the hip and un-hip, and whatever lurks in between.

What’s Your opinion?


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17 Responses to
You Are Here, it’s going to be that kind of festival
Gantz 4:13 pm 08 Feb 12

simonleeds said :

“You Are Here – I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s it seems weird and scary to me”

And it’ll happen to YOU!

simonleeds 3:15 pm 08 Feb 12

“You Are Here – I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s it seems weird and scary to me”

Hadley 10:33 am 08 Feb 12

Also, let’s cut Julez some slack! It’s not her fault she’s super efficient!

Hadley 10:33 am 08 Feb 12

bigfeet said :

jwinterflood said :

Thanks mate. That’s going to be our next tagline: “BMA: if you like reading things printed with poison onto dead trees”.

After going to a couple of You Are Here events last year I can suggest a few taglines they can use.

“You Are Here – But Only Because Your Partner Dragged You Along And I Bet You Wish You Were Somewhere Else – Anywhere – Even A Colonoscopy Would Have To Better Better Than Being Here.”

“You Are Here – Sorry.”

“You Are Here – Bet You Wish You Brought A Gun”

When I was brought on board this year I really, really tried to garner support for a live colonoscopy performance piece, but bizzarely anus-based art makers are some of the most aloof artists in Canberra! You would think filling your colon with paint would give you a certain amount of humility, but sadly no. Luckily all of our other performers, who will most likely not be performing colonoscopies, showing up armed, or forcing you to come along, are genuinely excited and passionate about engaging with any and all audiences that come along.

johnboy 9:54 am 08 Feb 12

pretty much what was being aimed for!

poetix 9:51 am 08 Feb 12

JB, you sound like Hansel and Gretel in this post. There’s a touch of Alice in Wonderland in there too!

ahappychappy 9:20 am 08 Feb 12

bigfeet said :

jwinterflood said :

Thanks mate. That’s going to be our next tagline: “BMA: if you like reading things printed with poison onto dead trees”.

After going to a couple of You Are Here events last year I can suggest a few taglines they can use.

“You Are Here – But Only Because Your Partner Dragged You Along And I Bet You Wish You Were Somewhere Else – Anywhere – Even A Colonoscopy Would Have To Better Better Than Being Here.”

“You Are Here – Sorry.”

“You Are Here – Bet You Wish You Brought A Gun”

“You Are Here – But you’re not as cool as us, even if you’re here or not. Wait, let’s use hip not cool as that’s a better word, or, even better, we can invent a new word to describe just how hip and cool we are or were and that you never will be.”

bigfeet 8:23 am 08 Feb 12

jwinterflood said :

Thanks mate. That’s going to be our next tagline: “BMA: if you like reading things printed with poison onto dead trees”.

After going to a couple of You Are Here events last year I can suggest a few taglines they can use.

“You Are Here – But Only Because Your Partner Dragged You Along And I Bet You Wish You Were Somewhere Else – Anywhere – Even A Colonoscopy Would Have To Better Better Than Being Here.”

“You Are Here – Sorry.”

“You Are Here – Bet You Wish You Brought A Gun”

milkman 7:59 am 08 Feb 12

Sounds to me that if someone hadn’t (rather rudely) ordered before everyone was present the idea would have worked much better…

I-filed 10:34 pm 07 Feb 12

jwinterflood said :

Thanks mate. That’s going to be our next tagline: “BMA: if you like reading things printed with poison onto dead trees”.

So … what’s the environment & human cost of your pooter? Care to give it up?

Holden Caulfield 9:07 pm 07 Feb 12

Assuming BMA is printed locally, wouldn’t most printers in town of any repute be using vegetable or soy based inks anyway?

Thumper 8:51 pm 07 Feb 12

jwinterflood said :

Thanks mate. That’s going to be our next tagline: “BMA: if you like reading things printed with poison onto dead trees”.

What a strange comment.

em8smem 8:37 pm 07 Feb 12

Tea bags? Where’s the loose leaf tea? I hope there was fine china and scones at least!

johnboy 7:44 pm 07 Feb 12

BMA: my favourite poison coated dead trees!

Sorry, my strong feelings about print coming out there, not BMA in particular!

jwinterflood 5:58 pm 07 Feb 12

Thanks mate. That’s going to be our next tagline: “BMA: if you like reading things printed with poison onto dead trees”.

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