Nick here. As is usual the past few years, I’ve spent the summer wrangling permissions to hold experimental arts events in public and retail spaces around Canberra city. And by me I mean the peerless staff of You Are Here festival. This is my fifth year with the festival and my second as a managing producer, and the people around me are sick of me talking about how much I love the festival team.

Our program is out on Feb 26 (the festival starts on March 18) and I really think it’s our most experimental line-up yet. We’ve learned a lot about how to support artists properly and we’re spoiled by the richness, diversity and just plain quality of art in Canberra.

I’ve had people coming up to me for the last couple of months asking me which vacant shopfront we’ll be taking over as our headquarters this year. The final answer is going to be a particular delight for citizens of a certain vintage- we’re in the old Impact Records site, the big downstairs one. Yes, an even bigger space than the Money Bin last year, which is daunting as all heck.

Every year we try to get better at bringing the ACT’s wonderful creative communities closer together. Every year we smack up against the limitations of our skill sets and resources, but we know that we’ve got it a lot easier that many people trying to do the same thing, and that’s because of our audience. Our audience is savvy, sharp, dorky, silly, supportive, forgiving and unfailingly good to the artists. We’re rewarding them this year with a mix of returning favorites (like Neon Night Rider, pictured above, photo by Adam Thomas) and shake-ups to the format that will test the crowd as much as the artists themselves.

Watch this space!


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