16 October 2009

We miss the artists lounge

MIAF 2009
No Artists Bar

We're limping into week two of Melbourne's capital A arty festival. There's been some amazing shows. Has anyone really noticed?

Why aren't we out every night drinking cocktails, scoffing nachos and loudly discussing the theme of disconnection inherent in the bodysuit of a dancer from some country we couldn't place on a map - but now want to live in?

Where's the buzz, the discussion, the excitement and the opportunity to snog dancers from countries we can't place on maps?

Sure it was a bit elitist and a bit wanky, but so are we. The people who go to the Melbourne International Arts Festival loved that arty farty, snobby space where we could get great coffee, cheap cocktails, posh plonk and dishes that included tofu and cous cous.

We loved talking about the Art we saw and running off (artist card in hand) to get tickets to a show that some stranger told us was unmisasable.

I loved sitting with my lap top and a glass of something fizzy, writing reviews as I chatted to people I'd never met, who would tell me what they thought (and often sway my opinion).

And I loved seeing my friends; those people who also spend too much time indoors or at computers, but always come out for a festival.

OK, there's a club in the Forum. But it costs money to get in, it's more than a two-minute walk from the theatres, there's no outside overlooking the river*, there is loud music playing** and that is the place we go to during the FILM festival.

We want the Artists Lounge back.

I've just recieved an invitation to join a Facebook group wanting the same. In recent festivals we went in early for dinner, stayed out late to drink and spent as much time as we could in the Artists Lounge. It was better than home. It was better than our favourite inner-city bar. It was a welcoming oasis of overly intelligent arty poshness. This year we're going home to play on Facebook.

*Where saintly non-smokers can sit with their pariah smoker mates.
**Who may well be great bands, but you can't chat and listen.

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