This Is Not Art 2017 - THIS WEEKEND! / by Kian West

More than 150 events have been revealed tonight as part of the official program launch of the annual This is Not Art festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary in Newcastle this year. This is Not Art comprises Crack Theatre Festival, the National Young Writers’ Festival and Critical Animals creative research symposium.

TINA This Is Not Art 2017


The festival program was launched at the University of Newcastle Gallery at Callaghan, with a musical performance by Crack Theatre Festival artist Cosmo Gelzinnis, and poetry readings by National Young Writers’ Festival artists, including Laura Kebby.

Festival Producer Christina Robberds said This is Not Art (TiNA) will run from Thursday 28 September to Sunday 1 October and will celebrate Newcastle as a first-rate creative city.

“The fact that we have a large-scale experimental arts festival outside a major capital city helps encourage and facilitate increased engagement with the arts and helps build pathways for local artists and those working in the creative industries,” Ms Robberds said.


This year’s program features extravagant singalongs, performances, blogging, poetry, gaming, cartooning, a spelling bee, dance, roving artist talks, witchcraft, drama, comedy, song writing and more.


“We’re celebrating our 20th anniversary this year and we really want people who haven’t been to the festival before to come along and be inspired – and we want Novocastrians to encourage their interstate family and friends to visit during the festival,” Ms Robberds said.

TINA in action This is not art festival


“Some of Australia’s most exciting contemporary artists will converge on Newcastle for the festival – so it’s a great opportunity for locals and visitors to immerse themselves in the arts,” Ms Robberds said.

“Almost all of the festival is free and people don’t need to book, but we do want them to start planning their festival schedule now,” she said.

The full festival program is available at

This year the festival will take place across 20 venues, including The Lock-Up, Watt Space Gallery, Civic Park, Vinyl Café, The Royal Exchange, Alchemy Cafe and TAFE NSW Hunter St. 

“We also launched the 2016 Critical Animals catalogue at tonight’s event – a permanent record of the creative research symposium, showcasing some of the most exciting emerging contemporary artists from around Australia,” Ms Robberds said.