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Congrats to All on Another Fantastic Junction Arts Festival

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Tags: Arts, Launceston, UTAS, Music

Ms DAWKINS (Bass) - Madam Speaker, I rise tonight to speak of yet another successful Junction Arts Festival.  The Sixth Junction Arts Festival opened on 7 September and another incarnation of Launceston's only arts festival began.  Having moved from its original home in Civic Square after the festival tent it was housed in ended its life during a particularly windy Falls Festival, various empty spaces have been utilised until it was suggested Princes Square should be considered.

Having worked on the square for 14 years I was delighted it was chosen as the park is a glorious space and rarely alive with people.  My former business partner at Fresh, Frith Loone, now produces Junction with new creative director Greg Clarke.  Hats off to them for an exemplary effort.

It is also brilliant to see Steve Henty from the board taking on an active role as GM, and Ryan Limb from Party in the Paddock and Vibestown extend his leadership role in Launceston as production manager.  Brigitte Trobbiani, a Launceston convert from Melbourne, is making a huge difference and is a part of every good thing, in this instance marketing and partnerships coordinator.  Congratulations also to Jane Forrest for doing an excellent job articulating the sense of Junction through publicity.  Sonja Hindrum and Thomas Duff juggled the coordination of the excellent program and Kylie Lorenz managed the many volunteers who front up year after year to bring a sense of ownership and pride to the tasks at the festival.

Having run the bar in a previous life, I can attest to the enormous amount of work to be done to bring a festival to backyards, the gospel hall and to other venues around Launceston, as well as to the main site.  The S Group are putting their stamp on the design of the website and graphics and should too be acknowledged.

It was a wonderful five days in Launceston, building on the experiences from year to year and on the expertise of former director, Natalie DeVito who programmed much of this year's festival before moving on. 

I know of no other festival that uses its host town in such a manner, opening up homes for music events and spaces that are rarely used to brilliant effect.  The Sainty's bus, which was fitted out for Ticket to Ride was seen on the streets of Launceston for the duration of the festival with ushers and a punk band delighting the audience.  Relax the Chimp was a huge hit.  The Tasdance/UTAS collaboration highlighted how easy physical activity is when it is fun.  Senior Idol and the Stance highlighted the creative abilities of talented seniors.  The Stance told the story of environmental activists in Tasmania and used the metaphor of putting bodies on the line for a cause.  The mature dancers from MADE performed for two hours at a time in the Brisbane Street Mall, again delighting the viewers by an alternative use of a much-used space.

Dr Pugh's Speakeasy was another 1920s adventure with the participants going all out.  Poetry, musical composition and writers all collaborated and created.  All were welcomed into the Junction space.

My last vision for the festival was spying Launceston's Ryan Farrington playing the tunes he wrote and has taken to the world in tours to the States and beyond, MCing, having the time of his life with a crowd of electronic music fans, hands in the air loving it.