All credit to Melbourne Festival artistic dirrector Brett Sheehy for admitting at Thursday’s preview of Festival 2010 that he made a big blunder last year in not providing an after-show meeting place for performers and patrons alike.
And he’s making amends by liaising with Curve Bar to provide such a venue at this year’s 17-day marathon of all things artistic and cultural.
The main impression garnered from the many things he rattled off over champers and nibbles at Comme was that this year’s festival will be broader and more tempting than last year’s lack-lustre affair. One can only hope so, as all too often hyperactive festival directors are excessively pushy about events that later transpire as fairly ho-hum.
Once again Sheehy’s penchant for rock music and all its spin-offs comes through loud and clear. There’ll be plenty of noise – which should at least awaken the wider populace to the presence of a festival in their midst.
In a throwback to the glorious days of past festivals, Sheehy is taking the festival to the streets and making use of St Kilda Road in a way that even the most iPod focussed drongo will be unable to ignore.
We will see a return of Robert Lepage, Patti Smith and similar luminaries will be at the Myer Music Bowl (pray the usual festival rain goes away) and a theatrical highlight is sure to be a Beckett trilogy – three of his lesser known plays in one three-hour performance.
Roll on October.