FORMAT FESTIVAL 2012s FIRST ANNUAL DO WHAT YOU PEEL FESTIVAL, was the brain child of Radio Adelaide’s the Range presenter Casey Briggs, Format’s Managing Director Stan Mahoney and the Scenery’s Alex Gordon-Smith. Stan and Alex did all the cool stuff though. Stan got the street closed with his patented council whispering, much like his police whispering, but more vibrant. Alex came up with Mass Karaoke. And Casey used his maths degree to divide the live Radio Adelaide broadcast into separate yet equally important parts.
Radio Adelaide presenters from The Scenery, Behind the Screens, The Range and Streetcast joined forces to bring a three hour broadcast live from Peel St outside Format. They joined the South Australian Parkour Association, the Alley Cats, Choral Grief, Dancing Room, Collarbones, the Wild Things, artist Sam Howie, roving reporter John Dexter, handball curator Dom Mugavin, handball enthusiast Kat Botten and the unenthusiastic Matt Hayward in the live action festivities.
This was the fifth year of the Format Festival, which initially started out as a zine fair by one Ianto Ware. The consecutive Format Festivals have been an open call out to people with “ideas”, such as art exhibitions and installations, DIY fairs, weird group social experiments and live music extravaganzas. Behind the Screens’ Chrissy Kavanaugh and the Friday Range’s Casey Briggs spoke with Format’s Grandfather and Father, Dr Ianto Ware and the Reverend Stan Mahoney.
The Scenery’s Alex Gordon-Smith and Streetcast’s lovely Jennie Lenman gave ya’ll a live first person description of the Peel St goings on. It’s not as easy as you’d think, except if you’re Jennie Lenman.
One of the many special guests of the Do What You Peel Festival was the South Australian Parkour Association. The collective built a scaffold at the Hindley St end of Peel St to demonstrate their urban acrobatic
skills. They also helped paint the undercoat of the Format mural, which council failed to do because they didn’t have a ladder. Casey and Chrissy spoke with the president of South Australian Parkour, Travis Ronson.
The Scenery’s John Dexterity Dexter acted as the broadcast’s roving reporter, always in the thick of it, trying to pry the facts out of the closed in secretive public (except for Dom, he was really great). Over this post we’ll have a few snippets from John’s day, all except the one when some jerk interrupts Angela and hogs the mic for himself, fuck that guy.
As the date of the ‘Do What You Peel’ grew closer, the powers that be at Radio Adelaide were like “Alex, are you sure everyone that you’ve organised for the broadcast are going to be there” “Sure”, he said, confident that promises were promises, right?. No, not right. Due to various mis-communications and a case of “taking people for granted”, one of the programmed bands were unable to play.
Enter C. Briggs.
By a stroke of genius, unrelated to mathematics, Casey made the call to Collarbones asking if by chance they could play in Peel St. Fortunately they were more than happy to do so, and thus the day was saved.
An amusing side story though – Collarbones are Format alumni, and were clearly more than happy to play the street. We contacted them directly, rather than through their management (which I’m not sure even occurred to us). When their management eventually caught wind that Collarbones were playing the street, they lost their shit, fearing that the place they were actually playing that night “Rocket Bar” would feel slighted. So the guys asked if they could be billed as Sean Lockhart and Penelope Nettles, but Stan went for the Clavicle Brothers.
So here’s Sean and Penelope Clavicle’s cover of Ginuwine’s Pony featuring Paul the Hobo.
Here’s John, with Hayward. I don’t think Hayward was wearing underwear, or something.
Casey and Chrissy had a chat with Marcus and Travis from Collarbones.
The Scenery’s Ryan Winter had been a busy man during the week. On the Sunday of the Festival he took a recorder down to the DIY fair to discover just what it was all about.
Alleycats, organised by one Ben Reichstein, whilst a part of the Format Festival largely takes place away from it. Best described as a scavenger hunt on bicycles, people congregate at Format and then set off in competition. Casey and Chrissy spoke with Ben all about it.
There has been a lot of talk about the Format Peel St mural, painted by artist Sam Howie with help from Tom Squires. Property Developer Zis Ginos’ son George certainly wasn’t a fan, nor a random council worker who without any authority demanded that Sam cease painting saying that “this isn’t art” and that there was “no way this was approved”. By the end of the same day Format had received an apology from council. I for one think that the mural was genius, there isn’t a day that goes by that people don’t stop to look at it, take photos and discuss what it is about it that they love/hate. That’s the beauty of the mural, the discussion that poured out of it.
Streetcast’s Jennie Lenman and the Scenery’s Mateo Szlapek-Sewillo spoke with the man behind the creation, artist Sam Howie to ask exactly what his intentions were with the wall. All you curious people, here it is straight from the horses mouth.
The second live performance of the evening was by Adelaide’s The Wild Things, featuring Mark Curtis of Oh Minor and the British Robots, Luke Eygenraam of Central Deli Band, the Waterslides and Antony of the Future, photographer and all round sweet guy Hugh Langlands-Bell, and some guy who curiously shares two thirds of my name and can play an amazing array of instruments, Alex Gordon. I apologise, as I don’t know the track names, but they ended their set with this one
Oh, and here’s John again with the lovely Kat Botten.
…and then Mateo and Jen talking with the Wild Things
Of course Do What You Peel wasn’t the only Friday event for the Format Festival. After the street festivities was the Steph Crase curated Great Band Party, featuring XiXi Cao, Big Richard Insect, Matt Banham, No Action, Summerflake and Good Heavens. Mateo and Jen caught up with Sarah from Sydney band Good Heavens, to chat about the formation of the band from the ashes of Wolfmother and the Red Sun band.
The final day of the Format Festival was one that will live long in the memory, and also started our strange love affair with Melbourne band NOZU. I will hands down say that NOZU are the ultimate party music party band, never have so many hips moved so feverishly, and so much sweat turned a seedy basement into a tropical paradise through Sparkling Ale glasses. The Scenery’s Ryan Winter got a call from NOZU earlier in the week to talk the new album, and their expectations for the final day.
Mass karaoke, the greatest thing to have ever happen. Imagine four hundred people, a choir, a dance group, a gigantic karaoke projection and a crazed man with glasses with a loud speaker all synchronised with an eighties love ballad. Radio Adelaide told me it was crazy, and that it would never work, but those of us that were there know. Credits – Stan Mahoney, Alex Gordon-Smith and Nick Moss aka big.dos. THE GREATEST THING TO HAVE EVER HAPPENED. YOU’RE WELCOME.
Apparently the broadcast run out of time to record the whole thing, but you’ll get the idea.
The First Annual Do What You Peel Festival will sadly be the one and only, as Format is pushed out of its Peel St residence. That might be a good thing though, as who can really be arsed living up the expectations of such an awesome day.
Thanks to everyone involved, they are too numerous to list here, but you know who you are.
Oh and here’s a random photo of Alex and the Mayor. If you trawl the net hard enough you’ll find a picture of the Mayor dressed up in oversized baby clothes.