festival time

Last night, as a Friend of the Festival, I attended the 2008 Perth Festival Programme launch.

A familiar face was behind the sound desk, but he encouraged us to go up front, as he explained the venue (Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Pavilion 1) was not very good for sound.

The welcome to country was particularly moving, with the traditional welcome following a short cycle of didgeridoo playing which was simply amazing. All the speakers were palatable, but you could tell that the audience was getting a little toey in anticipation of the Artistic Director, Shelagh Magadza getting up to show off the upcoming programme.

We had received our printed programme in the post that morning, and together with the displayed excerpts on a big screen and Shelagh Magadza’s commentary, we were keen to book tickets for the 56th Perth International Arts Festival.

Food and drinks were served behind the stage. Walking through an art installation set up at the entrance to the area, it appeared to be screens placed amongst foliage of strappy leaved plants. I don’t know what the film footage shown on the screens were, as I didn’t get to look at it very closely because of the surging throng moving to be fed and watered,

We didn’t book any tickets last night (Friends have preferential booking until Sunday 11 November), but I’ve just come back from uni having visited BOCS at the Octagon Theatre and burned the plastic there. I was able to get seven of the nine sets of tickets. Some of the performances you need to book directly with the Festival office, which is not very clear in the programme.

In addition to a block of festival film tickets, events we have tickets for so far:

We were going to book other performances, but apart from blowing our budget, some performances were on the same night, for example, Murundak and Sonic Youth.

The only thing that has been relatively uninspiring is the graphics associated with the invitations, programme, poster and web site – a couple of figures dressed in black amongst coloured blocks.

December 3 is already marked on the calendar as the beginning of the festival films. Now to get a 2008 calendar so that I can mark up a very busy three weeks starting in February next year.

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