The Canberra Zine Emporium ran a zine fair out in a courtyard where Electric Shadows used to be, behind the Waldorf Hotel. The turn out for zinsters was fine with plenty of tables, however, the entire affair was a little disappointing. First of all, the fair was outside. So for five hours, people sat in a warm autumn sun, baking slowly like a roast. And also there was wind which would easily course its way through the tunnels and passageways to the courtyard, and then tear merchandise from the tables into the air. So while table holders are scrambling to anchor their products, the music kicks in. The You Are Here people organised some live bands to play while people meandered around to buy zines. Once again, it seemed like a good idea, until you realise that the music is so loud, you cannot hear the person next to you.
@screamingwall I’m standing next to you and I can’t hear you. This agora became quite loud. #YouAreHere #ButICantHearYou
— Mark (@clothedvillainy) March 23, 2013
So I had to walk away for a while until the bands cycled out a bit. The problem with live music, and what some people seem not to get, is that loud is not always better. This was not an outdoor jam festival. This was not live band Friday night. This was a zine fair. People came here to buy and sell zines. They needed to converse and network. The bands, despite how good or bad the music might have been, drowned every word out. And some of the music was good, however the Tom Waits and whatever else that was played between sets, that was the appropriate volume. And that’s all that was needed, somebody or something in the background to provide ambience.
I only sold one zine, but I have a few to give to friends who helped me out or deserve one just because. I did buy a stack a zines, which I will report on later.
3 thoughts on “Canberra Zine Fair”
Hey I’m one of the YAH organisers, and in response to your comment about the gig volume: you’re right, and our apologies. We wanted to avoid having a token musician playing placid wallpaper music, but the end result I think wasn’t quite the right fit. Sometimes you throw contrasting things together and it works, sometimes it does not. Curatorial misstep.
Not sorry about the wind coursing its way through the tunnels and passageways to the courtyard and tearing merch from the tables into the air, though – I reckon that’s part of the risk we take by existing in the world. It was zines vs nature for a while there, and zines won a crushing victory: y’all should be celebrating, with mead, and such.
Anyway thanks for coming, and for the thoughtful words and critique.
Thanks for the comment. I know there was a YAH afterparty that night; but next year, if the zine fair falls on another day, have a zine fair afterparty. The second last band (I sadly forget their name) had some nice jams.
hey hey hey jack… nat here, one of the co-ordinators of the zine emporium.
greatly appreciate your comments re the first (and what will hopefully become an annual) canberra zine emporium (as part of the YAH fest). as this was the first ever zine fair that chiara (other co-ordinator) and i had organised, we’re totally open to constructive feedback… and yep, totally agree (and as per finig’s comment above) in this instance music (& volume of) didn’t quite cut it.
putting this aside – we’re really glad you came along and was part of it!
hey… at least it didn’t rain ;)