Newcastle's This Is Not Art Festival
It was the year 2000 and a bunch of young creative types had just planted Newcastle on the arts festival map, starting up the National Young Writers Conference, the National Student Media Conference, Electrofringe, Sound Summit and the Independent Radio Conference within a few short years. High on their own supply of creative energy, these Novocastrians then created a monster - a fusion of all five festivals into one, to create TiNA: This is Not Art Festival.
Now in its eleventh year, TiNA keeps getting more Frankensteinian, with a monstrous 27-page program of panels, workshops, installations and special events. They've got sessions on how to score grants, write super sad pomo love stories, create your own solar-powered sound or build your own USB MIDI controller. They've got installations on 'Bodmusic' and a 'Songbirds' wind-activated electroacoustic sculpture. They've got the Word-Hurl Anti-Slam, the Wriron Chef contest and the Lyrical Conquest battle for Newcastle MCs. They've also got petticoats to peek up, lifeboats to drift on, clinics to get your creative head checked and a Sunday event to top it all off with a Zine Fair and Artists' Market. Phew.
What's even more unbelievable is that you get all that for free. And non-locals making their way there from around the country need spend little more than a bus or plane fare, because you can bring your tent, van or swag and stay at Aunty Jenny's Camping Ground for just $10 a night. We kid you not: see and believe at thisisnotart.org