This is both a somewhat eloquent rant and informative post with thoughts and information on the current fire crisis in my beautiful country of Australia.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the importance of people and place, and how – as touring musicians – we have the opportunity to meet excellent and interesting folk from all over and experience amazing locations that most people living in Sydney have never come across. It is for this reason that I am also very connected to many of the people and places struggling in the current bushfire crisis in Australia – especially up and down the east coast of Australian and the Southern Coast of NSW.
I spent a surreal time at Woodford Folk Festival playing party music to wild dancing crowds, whilst in the back of my mind my thoughts were on some of my best friends in the world trapped in bushland areas fighting fires to bring in the new year. This is not right. This is not ok. This is not fine.
If you want to avoid the next rant then skip to the end to find out about music things.
Australia is not fine. The government is corrupt and only seems to care about fossil fuel profits, which results in the loss of everything that really matters in this natural world. The heaviness of the smoke in the air seems a manifestation of the heaviness we feel as a nation – and if you don’t feel it yet – you will be feeling it soon.
I feel angry as much of the nation feels, and it is hard not to feel somewhat helpless in the face of such disaster. But helpless we are not – and from this disaster I see people coming together on a scale of huge magnitude. Raising funds has never been simpler thanks to the power of social media and some TRUE LEADERS (not like the clown parading as the PM) are doing absolutely incredible grassroots fundraising movements.
These fires are not just destroying land, life and structures. They are also creating huge economic pressures on rural townships – many that I hold so dear. This disaster happening during the largest tourist season means vast areas will not be able to make ends meet and the struggle will continue for years to come.
I could rabbit on for ages – but there are more eloquently written pieces by folks who study science, environment and politics that are much more informative.
MUSIC ‘n GIGS INFO!
What I can inform you all about is that this disaster is also affecting Australian musicians who rely on a touring circuit through all the disaster affected areas. Chaika’s Bundanoon sold out concert has been cancelled due to the crisis and of course we have done what anyone in our position would do – we’ve replaced it with a fundraising concert for the RFS in the Southern Highlands. It’s on JAN 12th at my house in Engadine. Please come – please help rally around our community and make this time feel less shit and have some kind of positivity come out of it.
The event is HERE
Also Chaika has set up a page to share stories, fundraising opportunities and links about people and places we are connected to that need support. See it HERE
We are also playing the Illawarra Folk Festival – a place already feeling the economic impacts of people being hesitant to go slightly south. PLEASE COME TO THE FESTIVAL! There is not current fire danger in the area and it it is a GORGEOUS and FUN time with many like minded people.
What can we do as musicians? Make music that connects and builds community. Make music that is relevant and important to the current affairs. Because community is stronger than any government. What can we do as people? Be kind, be generous, be knowledgable about the current events and make sure your fellow humans, wildlife and the delicate environment that you live in is being cared for in the best way possible.