Thanks for the money!
Here is list of some of the things we did with it:
[br] [br] amira.h. came back from Melbourne to put on a huge group exhibition full of artists who’ve moved interstate and overseas. The exhibition was mostly about anger, injustice and Roseanne, which is an obscure docu-drama about class warfare in the nineties.
[br] [br] From what we can tell, a lot of hippies showed up the next day and taught each other how to brew beer and fix bikes and – according to the butcher’s paper they left behind – talk dirty. We think they broke our Ruby Award from a couple years ago. Good Job Hippies. Later that night Simon Gray and Louise Vodic hired a pedal-powered blender and made everybody dance in synch to a Richard Simmons exercise tape.
[br] [br] Former Format Director and failed lobbyist Dr Ianto Ware exhibited his collection of pamphlets. The event served as a sort of goodbye to the town that he has hate-loved for many, many years. We miss him.
[br] [br] Then there was another group show, which we called “group show” because meaningful titles are passe. Good things to look at, or not look at, if you’re blind and you were reading Samantha Prendergast’s braille word portraits, or if you came to see the guy who was supposed to play ambient noise but didn’t show because of some weird thing that happened.[br] [br] Timothy Tuppence and his housemates built a hydraulic thing for squishing things. People brought cans and vegetables and bits of metal and we took turns squishing them. It’s still in the basement if you want to take a look. Smells kinda funny. Also Maddy Turner crocheted some adult-sized baby clothes. Lord knows why. People got a kick out of it though. If you trawl hard enough you can find a picture of the Mayor in diapers and a bonnet.
[br] [br] What else, what else. Oh!
[br] [br] Local abstract artist Sam Howie repainted the Peel Street Mural. This was the third and probably last mural we would commission for our front wall, so we wanted it to be memorable. What Sam did was he constructed dozens of small channels out of old iced coffee cartons, then fixed them to the top half of the wall. He then filled each one with obscenely expensive enamel paint and waited for the paint to cascade down. Bizzarre. The finished product looks like a very messy fleet of rockets taking off, or tall sketchy cedars bending in the wind. It looks amazing, but even better close up. Some parts aren’t even dry yet. Go ahead, touch it! Pretty much everybody on the street hates it, and they all whinge that we painted over Kate Gagliardi’s (admittedly beautiful) lady faces. Stiff buiscuts Peel Street! Eat your vegetables!
[br] [br] A lot of musicians played music. Here they are, in chronological order: Rites Wild, Doe, High Wolf (All his gear was stolen in Antwerp btw. You’ve got money – visit his bandcamp and buy an album.), Oisima, Catfingers, No Birds, Brokers, Dan V, The Clavicle Brothers (in no way related to Collarbones), Wild Things, Choral Grief, Good Heavens, Matt Banham, Big Richard Insect, Summer Flake, NO ACTION, Xixi Cao, Fake Tan and NO ZU. NO ZU were particularly great. We think they’re one of the best bands in Australia, and we probably couldn’t have afforded them without your money, so yeah, thanks again for the money.
[br] [br] Pat recorded a lot of the above, so expect to hear it on a compilation of live recordings that we’re releasing on our record label which we’ll probably call “Format Records” because “branding”.
[br] [br] FUNNY STORY: After the NO ZU show the cops showed up and told us we were in breach of our licence for not having two extra security guards (because nerds dancing and playing handball are trouble, see). Format’s “managing director” employed a technique he likes to call “police whispering” and made them go away, on the condition that we stop partying at the stroke of 1am. Then we partied til 5am because fuck the cops. Everyone huddled in the basement all whispering and stuff til they were out of earshot, then the DJ dropped ‘Dammit’ by Blink 182. It was the greatest thing that had ever happened ever.
[br] [br] We closed off the street on a Friday so we could dance and play handball and stuff. It was pretty great. At the end of it we got about 200 people to sing a karaoke version of ‘Eternal Flame’ by The Bangles. Sorry everybody. Also Collarbones did a secret gig (like proper secret – nobody tell their agent) and there was a city-wide bike race and oh my god did you see those Parkour dudes swarm all over the rooftops? Afterwards everybody danced to Madonna in the gallery. Some creepy dude from Hindley Street started smoking inside and broke some art. If anyone knows who he is let him know that we want to make him a Director.
[br] [br] The Format Zine Fair was a little small this year, but it was still nice to see a lot of our paper-and-staples friends, including our Melbourne cousins from the Sticky Institute. Simon Gray announced this year’s Golden Stapler Awards, and is apparently travelling Australia in a bizarre quixotic quest to present gold spray-painted staplers to the recipients. Simon Gray, everybody.
[br] [br] Also, some other things happened, which we’ve either forgotten to mention because we forgot or neglected to mention because they were rubbish.
[br] [br] So it was a pretty great Format Festival. Right now the Collective is looking around for a new headquarters because our current landlord is probably going to raise the rent (mainly because he hates the mural). We’ll find one, but it might take a few months, so if we disappear for a little bit it isn’t because we took your money to Mexico. Six grand wouldn’t get us very far anyways (we thought about it).
[br] [br] So yeah, thanks again. Format is a unique thing in Adelaide, and without people like you money-believing in whatever it is that we do, well, we wouldn’t be doing it. Enjoy the zines, sorry they’re so late. Hopefully see you around the shop soon.
[br] [br] Your pals,