Right now, I want to spend the day hastily overwhelming the blog with stories, quotes, and contemplations. That’s the aftermath of festivals for you.
There are few things in life quite as inspiring as listening to passionate, knowledgeable people talking about a subject they love, and making room in their understanding of the world for someone else’s ideas and experiences. It’s kinda sexy, actually.
I’m finding my feet after two days at Brisbane’s inaugural ‘A Rock & Roll Writers Festival’, which was less about writing the perfect top 40 hit, and more about creatives bitch-slapping the taboos and BS surrounding an industry they love.
Far too often, we assume that love means being ignorant to the faults of the object of that devotion.It’s one of the reasons people mistake patriotism for blind, ignorant devotion (and why challenging the status quo is so often labelled ‘unpatriotic’). It’s also one of the reasons it’s taken so long for Bill Cosby’s alleged victims to be listened to.
We like to pretend that the things we love are perfect. Sonnets and love songs are filled to overflowing with the sentiment, after all. And whenever people point out the flaws, it’s easy to get defensive and aggressive (pretty sure no one needs me to list those pop culture examples).
Given how personally we relate to music (and storytelling in general), there’s always a risk in pointing out that hey, it’s a multi-billion dollar global industry that’s still far too racist and misogynistic. It’s a conversation we need, but not one that happens often enough in public, offline spaces. But it happened in Brisbane this past weekend, and that makes me so happy and proud.
There’s something beautiful in watching people who love the industry they work in standing up and demanding it at least try to reach its potential. It’s not about dismissing the positives, or kicking out for the sake of arguments or getting attention. It’s about saying that you love something enough to demand it step up, get its shit together, and be the absolute best it can be.
So you’re probably going to see quite a few posts over the next little while, because ideas need to be shared, and this was two days of wall to wall ideas deserving of exploration and attention.
I’ll try to keep the hyperactivity to myself, though.
For now, though, if you want to get an idea of what you missed, or listen to the playlists created by the panelists and creators of the festival, head on over here.