Now that the True North Festival is less than two weeks away I’ve started working out in the gym a lot more and experimenting with different hair styles (well, trying on some pretty swish wigs) just so that I can attend each event and every party from Friday 21st right through to Sunday 23rd in the best shape possible because, along with fellow blogger ‘Voir Tales, I’m an ambassador for this shindig and as important to the success of the festival as teen girls are to the success of One Direction and Clearasil. It’s a big thrill for me. A big responsibility. And I’m taking it seriously.
Come And Join In The Fun!
Right now, as I’m standing in front of the mirror, checking out my abs under different lighting, desperately concerned that natural light makes them appear almost invisible – despite the fact that I’ve cut out carbs altogether (apart from pizza and bagels and the occasional Cruskit) – I’m starting to feel a little intimidated about mingling with the best Northern based writers, painters, sculptors, artisans, theatre performers, tricksters, comics, dreamers, elders and emerging artists. I mean what if I wear a wig that’s a little too jazzy or run out of things to say to the mostly uncommunicative glass-blowers?
The pressure is bordering on surreal and because I’ve been reading some of Voir Tale’s trolley-based blog posts while taking diuretics and sitting in a sauna at the local day spa for hours on end to get as ripped as possible my mind starts dragging my dehydration and hyper-excitement through some pretty bizarre channels.
‘Hold on you ab-less wonder,’ I say to myself as my head starts spinning and my imaginings are hijacked by the horrible possibility of Reservoir’s own arts festival being infiltrated by residents from a more functional, less creative part of Melbourne like, I don’t know… Toorak.
They’re marching in and pointing out all the shopping trolleys around our leafy streets and organising Council meetings to demonstrate that if every resident in Reservoir took the time to walk just one shopping trolley back to the supermarkets that our suburb would look more like theirs, or even Brighton’s, and then I see the aftermath…
The trolleys are gone. The centre cannot hold. The winds whip up and things change and all of a sudden there are SUVs everywhere and people clip-clopping around in shiny designer shoes with their noses in the air sniffing out the underarm scent of their maids and Nannies to gauge their work ethic and suddenly I’m hunched over in front of the mirror, grief-stricken. I don’t want my suburb to lose its unique culture.
I’m only able to lift myself from this nightmare and to correct my posture and to think a little clearer after rehydrating with several large glasses of water and two Hydralyte icypoles.
Sure, Toorak may be rich enough and insightful enough to invest in distance-triggered technology to prevent trolleys leaving their shopping centres but the flip-side of that is that they’re unable to see the spirit in chaos and how man-made objects can enrich local streetscapes.
And beside all this I know who I am – a Reservorian.
Our will is strong, our vision is unique. This festival will be showcasing the genius of my people and there’s no chance of us holding meetings and clearing the streets of our beloved trolleys when we can simply reimagine them. The people of the Northern suburbs take hold of their surroundings and fold their unique vision into the things they see.
Now that I’m sitting in front of the computer and drinking some peppermint tea I’m imaging a more realistic scene. It’s Reservoir in the wake of the festival.
The trolleys remain but they’ve been painted by our painters, turned into high rise sculptures, referenced in the poetry and stories of our writers, championed with a wink and a smile by our comics, transformed into musical instruments by our singers and bands, used as props in our theatres, included as residents in the next national Census and even – when necessity demands – taken to the shops and loaded with groceries.
We give them right of way on the pedestrian crossings and drive around them on the roads. They are as sacred to the people of the Northern Suburbs as the cow is to the people of India and, oh my God, I’m pretty sure that if I turn on the heat lamps of my bathroom’s IXL Tastic, lean right back and stretch my stomach skin up towards my chin, that I might actually see four separate abdominal muscles and if I develop the will power to remove Cruskits from my diet I may even find myself in possession of the crème-de-la-crème… a six pack!
I am so excited about this Festival that I can’t even write a straight forward post about it and I’m already anticipating the grief I’ll suffer when the last event ends on the final day and if you don’t come along and hang out with me* – yeah, you – I’ll send you heaps of Tweets and Facebook updates. So don’t worry you won’t miss a thing.
No seriously, please come along (even people from Toorak – I was just kidding**) to participate in what is becoming one of Melbourne’s most anticipated annual happenings. You will be amazed what you discover when you head True North!!
Before you check out the program below please help me pick a wig from these three options!
*Reservoir Dad and his abs reserve the right to refuse entering an event or premises without IXL Tastic lighting.
*Reservoir Dad was not kidding about Toorak.
Here’s a brief rundown of the program.
TRUE NORTH ARTS FESTIVAL
Friday 21 March, 2014
We kick it all off on Friday with afternoon fun at the Reservoir High School with Resa Racers. Then get dancing under the stars at the Festival Launch Party with Soul Salvation and Munro Melano. After that you can head into the streets and discover some of the great local arts spaces. Click on the Explorers & Outposts program for details.
Saturday 22 March, 2014
Edwardes Street Party, a public celebration will take over the Edwardes Street shopping strip inviting the community to come out to play. ‘Thinkplay’ collaborative art-making specialists will work with families to create ‘Makedo’ cardboard installations of ‘Castles & Cubbies with Connecting Mazes’. Also on offer will be free interactive arts activities, stage entertainment and stall – all ending with a spectacular fireworks display!
Stay on Edwardes Street for Pool Hall Blues. A free gig at Edwardes Place Pool Hall with three authentic local blues musicians.
Sunday 23 March, 2014
Family friendly highlight, the Darebin Community & Kite Festival, rounds out the True North program with sky-high kite making and flying workshops plus lots of great entertainment, youth bands from Darebin Freeza, community groups on display, a Suitcase Rummage market, sports and craft activities, jumping castle, lots of food stalls and roaming entertainment.
And the closing party all seems to take place back at Edwardes Place with Rouge Laughter. Another free gig with local comedian Justine Sless and a coupla’ bands who play great music, tell good stories and crack some funnies along the way.