Singer-songwriter Tess Guthrie is the perfect fit for World Vegan Day
30.10.2019

Singer-songwriter Tess Guthrie is the perfect fit for World Vegan Day

Tess Guthrie
Words by Marnie Vinall

Indie alt-rock singer/songwriter and vegan feminist Tess Guthrie has just been announced to perform at World Vegan Day for the second year in a row. This performance will also be one of the first of a string of shows to celebrate the release of her powerful and emotive new single ‘Fairy Lights’.

Guthrie is a notable choice for the gig, especially given her outward passion for animal rights and her adoration for the vegan lifestyle and community.

“Imagine being able to play to a group of people who care about the same kind of things that you care about,” says Guthrie, comparing the event to her own personal version of Coachella. “It’s a total dream, if I’m honest.”

Guthrie says that, to her, it’s a complete honour and pleasure to be asked to perform and lend her voice to matters that are meaningful to her, including issues concerning gender, the LGBTQIA+ community and animal rights.

“I take it as a total privilege to be able to use something that means as much to me as music to be able to discuss topics that are really, really important to me,” she says.

The passion that drives Guthrie to speak about weighty topics is showcased in her latest single ‘Fairy Lights’. The single showcases her foray into a heavier, more alternative rock-oriented sound, which she explains mirrors the themes of her lyrics.

“Part of the reason I wanted to do that is for it to map onto heavier content that I want to be speaking about”, Guthrie explains.

“I think it’s nice to be able to use tools like heavier sounds in alternative rock and potentially more electronic sounds in order to convey heavier content.”

‘Fairy Lights’, as Guthrie explains, is about internalised victim blaming and taking back the power. 

“I think a lot of the time, there’s a lot of messaging out there for women that things that happen to them are their fault, which is not true,” she says.

“A lot of the time, these messages are really subtle and they kind of perpetuate through culture in the kind of attitudes and behaviours that we permit and we don’t question, and so I think this leads to a fairly pervasive toxic culture where women and non-binary folk are made to feel like the things that are happening to them are their fault.”

Guthrie is also quick to acknowledge her own privilege, “It’s also really important to acknowledge that it’s just one woman’s perspective and I come from a white, middle class, cis, educated background and I certainly don’t represent all voices.”

Guthrie hopes that for those the single does resonate with, it can act as a reminder that they aren’t to blame for the negative situations and experiences they may have had – despite what the culture of victim blaming may suggest.

Guthrie will perform her empowering and poignant new single to those who attend Melbourne’s celebration of World Vegan Day this November 10.

Guthrie also notes that even if you don’t follow an entirely plant-based diet, it’s still a great event to immerse yourself in. 

“I think the really cool thing about World Vegan Day is it’s not just for vegans, it’s for people who care about animals in any capacity or feel empathy and compassion and just want to learn more,” she says.

“I think what I like about World Vegan Day is that it’s so inclusive and inviting and asks a lot of questions in a really safe environment. It’s so lovely to really connect with a community who are already making so many strides and exploring a whole bunch of different options.”

Tess Guthrie will perform at World Vegan Day on Sunday November 10 at Melbourne Showgrounds, Flemington. For more information, head to worldveganday.org.au.