Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Opp Shop Fringe Festival: somebody was listening

Almost two years ago I wrote the post below. I republish it below because it looks like my Fringe Festival idea might have come true if you pop over to I Op Therefore I am. I am indebted to Gina for the tip off.


Miss Eagle is gobsmacked. Who ever heard the like - a shopping festival!

Miss Eagle realises that there are many temples distributed around Australian cities dedicated to the gods and icons of Consumerism - but a festival! What does this mean? Does it mean that Consumerism, as a free-standing religion, will now establish its own religious calendar instead of converting the feasts of the Christian calendar for its own ends? Will the Melbourne Shopping Festival become the Hajj of Consumerism with Melbourne its Mecca? Will Melbourne business offer indulgences of huge percentages off in the same way that indulgences were sold once upon a time?

Miss Eagle thinks that one of the attractions for the powers-that-be in Melbourne is that a shopping festival could be run concurrently with at least one other major event on the Melbourne calendar. Perhaps there can even be more than one shopping festival fitted into the calendar. Shopping Festival and Grand Prix! Shopping Festival and AFL Grand Final! Shopping Festival and Melbourne Cup! You see juggling the circuses of Melbourne has become a game of increasing difficulty. This year the Grand Prix and the Commonwealth Games were jostling one another in a packed calendar.

Talk about Bread and Circuses!

Now Miss Eagle cannot say how many bakeries Melbourne has but this city - which boasts that it is the sporting capital of Australia - is well set up for circuses. There are more sporting arenas within walking distance of the CBD than in any other city in the country: the MCG, Olympic Park, Rod Laver and Vodaphone Arena, Telstra Dome, Albert Park with Flemington Racetrack being only a short cab or train ride away. And we won't go into the subject of theatres and public places and spaces like Federation Square.

One thing, though, that Miss Eagle wants to know. If there is to be a Melbourne Shopping Festival how will the Opp Shop clientele such as Miss Eagle and Gina be catered for? Or will we have to establish our own Fringe Festival?

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