Fiend Fest 2012
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of fiend is: 1 –an evil spirit or demon. 2 – a very wicked or cruel person. Or 3 – an enthusiast or devotee of a particular thing. I’m guessing most of us could identify with a least one of the above. Maybe even two. Good thing then that Fiend Fest 2012 is nearly upon us. An all day festival devoted to the darker side of fashion, art and music, Fiend Fest will surely have a little something for everyone, fiends included.
“We’re getting to the sharp end of months of planning, preparation and promotion,’ says an excited Gerry Meehan, the festival director. “Things are getting pretty crazy now but it’s exhilarating to see all the pieces start to fit together and an awesome new event about to be born. The next few weeks will be hell, glorious hair-raising hell. Just like Fiend Fest!”
Taking place at the Revolt ArtSpace in Kensington, the idea behind Fiend Fest, besides raising hell, was to create a unique festival, encompassing all the best bits of the fashion, art and music worlds. “The idea for Fiend Fest is to combine some of Melbourne’s most popular alternative events under one roof on a single day with an exciting festival atmosphere with the hope that the whole will be much greater than the sum of the individual parts,” says Meehan.
One of the biggest drawcards of the festival will no doubt be the Carpe Noctum fashion show. Having existed separately for a number of years under the moniker of Circa Nocturna, 2012 has seen the popular show join forces with Fiend Fest. “Well Carpe Noctum’s predecessor was incredibly popular, selling out both morning and afternoon sessions,” Meehan says. “With Carpe Noctum at Fiend Fest we only have the opportunity to do one midday session so we’re definitely expecting that show to sell out. The show itself will be very similar to the format of Circa which for the uninitiated means a seated runway show of about two hours which showcases the latest designs of alternative designers from a wide spectrum of styles. This year we have designers who draw from Steampunk, Lolita, Baroque, Clubwear and of course Gothic styles. This year we add an extra dimension to the show with a live performance from controversial and entertaining local artist Noize Bunny.”
On top of the fashion show, Fiend Fest will also be hosting a number of local and international musical acts. Headlined by Hocico, who will be flying in all the way from Mexico and Hanzel Und Gretyl from the USA, both acts promise to blow audiences away with their respective live shows. “We’re all very excited by the live music aspect of Fiend Fest and we’ve been lucky to be able to book some of the most entertaining live acts in their respective genres and that goes for many of the local acts as well as the internationals,” adds Meehan.
If fashion and music aren’t enough to get you pumped then maybe the Black Market will be more your style. The market will feature a huge number of stalls stocked full of hawking fashion, art, music, curiosities and more. “The Black Market is for those who’ve already sold their soul to sell everything else!” jokes Meehan. “There will also be massages and delicious food vendors to help you recharge those batteries, an essential at any festival worth its salt.”
There’s certainly no arguing that. However, there is another essential aspect, key to any festival of note and that is the question of alcohol. Thankfully, Fiend Fest is well equipped in that area too; with a bar serving drinks at prices that won’t completely destroy your bank account. “One of the best things about Revolt is that it serves drinks at bar prices! I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve been fleeced for a few bourbons at a festival. Venues and promoters have a tendency to exploit the captive audiences at gigs and festivals, not so at Revolt where the drinks are cheaper than most CBD bars!”
There’s little doubt that putting on a festival of any kind takes a hell of a lot of hard work and Fiend Fest is no exception with its format posing a number of different challenges to the organises. “Logistics and promotion are always the two hardest parts of running events,” says Meehan. “This is an incredibly expensive and complicated event with literally hundreds of models, performers, designers, stall holders and support staff to organise.” Yet for Meehan, the overall experience of working on Fiend Fest has been an extremely rewarding one. “Personally I love cooperation and working with like-minded and talented individuals from a variety of genres and art forms. A festival like this really exposes you to the best of everything the alternative scene in Australia has to offer.”
With a seemingly endless number of festivals doing the rounds these days it’s getting harder to keep track of them all. Yet Fiend Fest promises to offer a fresh, unique and exciting take on the festival experience. “Fiend Fest is a celebration of everything dark and alternative,” says Meehan. “We hope people come and celebrate all facets of what is a broad, vibrant and multi-talented scene. An event like this supports local business, artists and musicians in a time when that support is most needed.”
BY JAMES W NICOLI
Fiend Fest is at Revolt Artspace on Saturday June 9. For more information and tickets visit revoltproductions.com