You Are Here: gRage

Interview with David Finnigan, director of You Are Here.

Canberra is a place unlike any other in the country. Entertainment is rarely dictated by privatised industry or big business sponsorship. More often than not, events and general fun are independently co-ordinated or produced. You’ll find that the city and with it, it’s music and arts scene, is remarkably self-sufficient. Granted one can’t make that accusation without acknowledging those behind the lines that go above and beyond to endorse some incredible, creative initiatives. For example, the folk behind this year’s YOU ARE HERE festival, who front an enormous amount of energy in the form of time, money and enthusiasm; all in the name of a growing concept and an incredible city. What better place than Canberra to experiment and explore the depths of event bureaucracy? There’s rarely someone saying no, and there’s always at least a dozen people saying yes. It is a nurturing place that offers things that other cities don’t – space, time and willing crowds. Speaking of willing crowds, the owners at The Smith’s Bookshop (and the employees that work there) open up their arms to the people at You Are Here (and many others), hosting events in their space year after year. Why? Because they believe! They believe in unearthed talent, they believe in threading kindred spirits and fashioning our capital in such a way that people look around and appreciate what’s going on beneath the surface.


Now to one of the many, many events running during the festival between 14-24th March – gRage! Join the You Are Here team on the 22nd of March as they “recreate the experience of sprawling on the couch watching music videos on Rage live in Smiths Bookshop.” Glass artist and Canberra Rollerderby League co-founder Lucy Quinn will be directing the night as she and others indulge in the complexities and aesthetics of sound and images combined. With a passion for fluidity and light through projection and video vignettes, Lucy is the perfect mentor in the Rage arena. Amongst gRage, there are also a vast selection of events that you can check out at the You Are Here website –


“No one goes to Canberra to be seen. That’s why it’s so great. We got rid of all the wankers, so the people here are the ones that actually care and are passionate,” says David Finnegan proudly. This is the man behind this year’s event, one of the most musically and artistically enthused people in Canberra right now. This then supports my final mediation – that is, that the name of the event itself signposts the very nature of our existence in Canberra. We ARE here. We are HERE. WE are here. So if we are here, why not get out, have fun and make the most of supporting the city and the fine opportunities it has to offer.


gRage is held on Friday 22 March, 8pm – 9.30pm, Smiths Alternative Bookshop, 76 Alinga St, Canberra City.

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