The inaugural 2021 ABC Heywire Youth Ideas Lab tasked 27 young, regional Australians with developing five interesting ideas to benefit regional Australia. One of the initiatives they came up with was “Open Field Fest”.
The ABC Heywire Youth Ideas Lab followed the annual Heywire Regional Youth Summit, with the concept of Open Field Fest developed to answer, “how might we create a fun and safe community event that includes all ages?”
Open Field Fest encourages regional communities to hold more accessible music and arts festival events. The program aims to create a dynamic environment where young people can learn the skills needed to create a festival event to further bring communities together.
The suggested workshops of Open Field Fest include attending skill-sharing meetings through online tutorials, zoom sessions or live streams via social media. These learned skills would then be showcased at the main event, Open Field Fest, which would celebrate local music, art and community in-person or online.
Justin, a team member of Open Field Fest, believes that this initiative could help education be more accessible for regional communities.
“I love music and it is the constant background to my day,” Justin said. “It is really hard for me to learn skills in this field and be involved in the music industry because of how far I would need to travel. Open Field Fest would create an awesome opportunity and allow towns the chance to have an unforgettable event as well.”
Team member Matthew confirms the collective desire of young regional Australians to have access to more festivals and music events.
“I would love to learn more and have the chance to attend a festival or something music related in my community,” Matthew said. “Open Field Fest will bring our regional communities together!”
Applications are now open for communities and eligible groups to receive a $10,000 grant to participate in the Open Field Fest program to create a unique, interactive festival in their region.
The grant provides an exciting opportunity for regional communities to tailor skills workshops to suit the relevant interests of their community before holding an accessible event. The key idea is to foster partnerships between groups who can develop pre-festival skills delivered through workshops, and groups who can run the festival event.
Open Field Fest could be run by schools, music and art organisations, local councils, not for profits and community groups. To apply for the grant and get involved with this youth-led initiative, visit the FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants Application Portal. Applications close 19 August 2021.
Photo: Helena Lopes