Invited by Enough Said Poetry Slam, I was granted free entry into this year’s Yours & Owls music festival at Stuart Park in Wollongong. Having already decided that I was going to work on the bar instead of trying to sleep through the noise in the next suburb down, it was awesome to hear I’d be free to enjoy the festival instead.
For the price of a few hours in the Local Tent on the typewriter churning out five-minute poems for festival punters and performing a few poems on the mic, I was free to roam Wollongong’s own music festival, resplendent in the obligatory glitter with various high school mates.
Whilst I definitely prefer a comfortable and respectful folk festival, my first experience of a more mainstream music festival had its highlights. I was able to see some of my favourite bands, including Jungle Giants and Cub Sport, and enjoyed some lesser known acts I was not previously aware of during the sunny days. Despite the thick crowds and overpriced food, I had a lot of fun dancing and enjoying the weekend.
The poet work itself was surprisingly fun; I got to fulfil every young writer’s dream of using a typewriter, and wouldn’t leave it when my shifts ended. There’s a particular satisfaction in pressing those clickety-clack buttons, and quickly getting speedy and making fewer mistakes. The poems themselves were my favourite part of the entire festival. I wrote some personalised poems that made people cry, and others that were fun and just for a laugh.
The drunk punters wandered into the Local Tent tucked away in a corner of the festival and were able to experience an artsy, comfortable reprieve from the manic energy elsewhere, and even though most of them probably immediately lost their poems in the crowd and the dark, they were all deeply touched that someone would make something for them, just because they asked them to.