The Rock ‘n’ Roll Writers Festival, inaugurated in 2016, will be held in Brisbane for a second time in early April. In addition, the event will debut in Melbourne in 2017, with a one day edition taking place the following weekend.
Initiated by Leanne de Souza, who ran her own artist management business from 1997-2015, and Joe Woolley, the festival is a celebration of music and writing. Musicians, authors and artists spend the weekend in interviews, talks, panel discussions and presentations, exploring how literature and music have influenced one another.
This year’s special guests include Tim Rogers, front man of You Am I; Tony Mott, Australia’s leading rock photographer; Ngaiire, singer-songwriter; Zan Rowe, radio presenter; and Paul Barclay, presenter and producer of ABC RN’s Big Ideas.
Among the panel discussions on the program are Then They Came For Me, which considers the “essence of rock and roll” as “freedom” and explores art’s ability to respond to contemporary challenges to it; White Rabbit, which focuses on writing by, for and about women; and The Comforts of Madness, which looks into motivations for song writing, including “the conscious expression of subconscious thoughts, fears and desires”.
In Brisbane, the festival will take over The Old Museum, Bowen Hills, on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 April. In Melbourne, it will be held at the Abbotsford Convent on Sunday 9 April.
“Although the concept and intention behind the event was born of a personal connection with the Brisbane music scene over the past two decades, my vision was always to tour and explore the conversations in the other great music cities of the world,” said Ms de Souza. “We are thrilled that Abbotsford Convent welcomed our first foray in to what was an obvious choice — Melbourne.”
Collette Brennan, chief executive, Abbotsford Convent, said, “The RRWF provides a unique opportunity for music fans, musicians, writers and book lovers to hear first-hand about the creative spark between writing and music, in [a] relaxed, welcoming environment.”