by Tenille – With Love Tasmania

JAF16 Backyard Band
BACKYARD BAND – Image Credit: JAF16

Make it yours – is the catch-phrase, how are you going to do that is the question.

Prior to catching up with the newly appointed GM of the Junction Arts Festival at a cafe overlooking a view of the Tamar River all locals know and love; I was feeling anxiety around having to confess I hadn’t been to a Junction event, but hoping to get brownie points for least I wanting to find out more about what to expect from JAF 16, how I could get amongst it and how I could make the seemly complex set of events easier for myself and others to understand.

As Steve was chatting about the myriad of changes that were being made to the constellation of events; from the layout and proximity of each mini-event to new green theme of the marketing collateral; it occurred to me that in fact, I had been to a Junction event last year (actually two!) I just hadn’t realised that it was part of the overall JAF.  Feeling instantly chuffed that I had made it to not just one but two of the events; I excitedly interrupted Steve’s description of the mini-events and declaration that you’ve-got-time-to-attend-all-events-schedule, to explain it was to see a band in the backyard of an upscale accommodation venue that had a sloping grassy half ache that created a natural auditorium and was a-lit with lanterns and a pop-up bar which I helped prop up.

Following that first event, word-of-mouth (something JAF heavily relies on) ensured our crew moved onto another JAF event in the city held at a pop up bar in one of the oldest buildings in town which had been resurrected for the night and themed 1930’s (I didn’t get the dress code memo but it didn’t matter).

That’s exactly the point Steve said; Junction events are typically clustered all over town, and they were becoming a bit spread out which was making it both harder for participants to make it to make it to all of the events.  I was interested to learn that there is one particular couple in Launceston that attend every event every year!  Which is why this year we’re creating a central hub around Princes Square, and ensuring the timetable allows attendance at all events.

JAF16 Speakeasy
SPEAKEASY – Image Credit: JAF16

Personally I’d never sought out Junction events or made an effort to knowingly attend, because I had the misconception that it was for beards and bohos.  And there’s nothing wrong with that if it’s your thing, but I thought I was too vanilla to fit in.  But I couldn’t be more wrong, the program has something for everyone, and I love the idea of doing something you wouldn’t normally get to do in Launceston. Check it out here.
And when the event organisers say ‘make it yours’ they really mean it.  It’s up to you curate your culture, but whatever you choose you’ll definitely be at the heart of the action.  It’s all about participation and before I break out in a cold sweat thinking about the time I was asked to participate in an art event by getting naked, covering myself in paints and throwing my body up against large life sized canvas (to which I politely declined), Steve ensures me there’s no such funny business.  Steve outlines the most participant art installation event from last year which included riding on a Harley to a place of meaning for the leather clad rider, and hearing, guess what, real stories from real locals about real events – this sounds like a touching one-on-one and costly event which isn’t going to be repeated at this JAF.  But never fear, this year, the most you out-there participatory events include; your dance moves being amplified by a big screen via Relax the Chimp, participation in a comedic bus ride, having your story portrayed in song, a meal enjoyed blind folded, yoga practiced to a soothing harp player, or a twerc workshop.

JAF Relax the chimp
RELAX THE CHIMP: Image Credit: JAF16
JAF16 Twerc Workshop
Image Credit: JAF16

I’m most intrigued by the fact the central hub this year will be around my favourite patch of grass and fountain; Princes Square.  There is so much history that surrounds the fountain and I’m fascinated by the statues and large pineapple that adorns its top.  So when I was working in the area I’d take my cut lunch there and sit and stare at the fountain, listening to the water cascade only drawing my eyes away to watch passers-by, secretly hoping someone interesting would intersect my afternoon musings, with a cool story to tell.  That didn’t happen, but lucky for me there’s going to be story tellers and food at this year’s JAF so I won’t neither will I starve to death or be bored out of my brain.  Plus the Lime Light opening tonight will feature a fountain bar and of course, chilled beats and good vibes.

Image Credit: JAF16
Image Credit: JAF16

Check out timetable here to curate your event – How are you going to ‘make it yours’

Best go, I’m running late for opening night!

With love,

Tenille” ”>