MANY MANY MOONS AGO I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO MEET CHRIS BACK WHEN WE WERE BOTH TRYING TO PAVE OUR WAY IN THE WORLD COMPLETING TERTIARY STUDIES AT HUNTER TAFE IN MUSIC MANAGEMENT. BACK THEN (ABOUT A DECADE AGO) WE WERE BOTH REALLY DIFFERENT PEOPLE BUT WE HAD ONE COMMON INTEREST, MUSIC.
With Chris Hearn
By Kian West
I might have argued regularly with Chris over different musical topics, back in the day, but I feel it was always out of some odd mutual respect of one another’s alternative perspective and I have always admired the path that Chris has taken to make his place in Newcastle and the world.
If you don’t already know who Chris Hearn is, you might have heard of his venue – The Terrace Bar on Hunter Street in the city CBD. A cool little ‘Hipster bar’ that started a trend in our town for something more than the generic pubs, hotels and clubs that once were all that Novocastrians knew. The Terrace is much more than just a bar though, it is fast becoming an institution for those in the community after somewhere with some substance that is different to everywhere else. A place you can regularly catch great bands, vinyl only DJ nights and Poetry! Yep, it even hosts a monthly poetry night on the first Thursday of every month – Word-Hurl Anti-Slam, a top night for those that like to rhyme
But we aren’t here to talk about his awesome bar, we want to tell you all about the wonderful festival he is helping to curate as part of the This Is Not Art Festival (TiNA) and give people a bit of the low-down to what and why you should ensure that you are in attendance…
As are all small business owners, Chris is a busy man so we only got a few brief moments with him to shot fast these questions.
Before we kick off with the gritty questions about The Newcastle Weekender, can you tell us one highlight in your career as an event manager/coordinator/organizer? What is one success that you have everyone should know as proof you know how to throw killer parties Chris?
- Probably the Spring Every Season festival series I ran at the Croatian Club quarterly for a couple years, & especially the first Summer Vibes in 2011. I was really happy with the line-up, we have Thee Oh Sees from the US & tons of my favourite Aussie artists like Total Control & Kirin J Callinan. People came from all over & we packed it out!
So The Newcastle Weekender seems to have been made possible through the support of a Pozible campaign where you successfully raised $3840, way more than the $3000 you had aimed for and with 90 supporters. Firstly, well done!
We understand this is no easy feat for anyone and they can be a lot of work to pull off, but now the tough part really begins, coordinating a 3-day festival. What can you tell us about the long weekend plan?
- t's largely a DIY effort & there's not too much to organise, as we're working with bands and artists who are doing things for art not entertainments sake, and community over capital gain. This is a festival about coming together and having a cultural exchange. There will be 14 events over 4 days & two wonderful venues, with a very broad variety of grassroots artists, performers and DJs working across a variety of genres.
The Festival is being run by four of you is this correct? Who?
- I'm directing the festival, but I didn't want it to be all my taste, and had a decent amount of money to spread through a few creative communities, so I banded together some others, and I curated just under half of the program. The rest was curated by Mark N (Bloody Fist Records), Mardi Rowe & Ash Campbell (Babes Get Weird), Joe Alexander (Bedroom Suck), Nic Warnock (RIP Society), Evan Hill Porteus (Y202), as well as crossing over events with the solid Word Hurl Anti-Slam, & another festival our mate Edo was putting on. It's about bringing a lot of people together, essentially. That's what our aims should be, firstly, when organising events.
Where should people go if they want tickets?
- Tickets are through oztix. Many events are un-ticketed though, so please check out our program in the TINA program
Anything else you’d like to tell readers?
-Check out the TINA program!