Oz Fest is firing up The Aussie BBQ in India
In 2003, me and my friend Mary decided to put on a BBQ for the Australian bands playing at international music conference South by Southwest. We imaginitively called this show THE AUSSIE BBQ. Since then, we've formed Stage Mothers and with the help of Sounds Australia it's grown to be the biggest showcase of Australian music outside of Australia.
But I'm pretty sure that when Mary and I were cooking snags and getting bands on and off stage in a carpark on 6th Street in Austin, we never imagined that we'd have an Australian Prime Minister announce 4 Aussie BBQs in India. Well, that happened!
After a bit of a "how was ya trip," Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced Oz Fest - no "Our Jules" is not the new ambassador for metal - the biggest Australian cultural festival ever staged in India, which includes 4 Aussie BBQ shows.
Here's what the PM had to say:
“Australia is known for the most part around the world, including in India, for its sporting prowess, its beautiful scenery and its relaxed lifestyle.”
“But we are also a nation that values our world class artists, who play a critical role in society - exploring, challenging, inventing and communicating. Within and beyond our nation’s shores, our artists interpret cultural differences and bring us together. So Oz Fest is about bringing Australia's contemporary character to India in new and fresh ways.”
Oz Fest will include a tour by five Australian bands as part of THE AUSSIE BBQ in Pune, Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. The bands include The Aston Shuffle, Karnivool, Big Scary, Sheppard and Jinja Safari.
The Australian Government is joining hands with 24 government, business, institutional and production partners to present over 100 events in 18 locations across India as part of Oz Fest. Highlighting the spirit of collaboration between Australia and India.
Other activities will include a live music and film show created for the 100th anniversary of Indian cinema, featuring the films of Australia’s first Bollywood star, Fearless Nadia; Australia’s National Indigenous Cricket Team playing local Indian teams in one-day and Twenty20 matches in Pune and Mumbai; and performances fusing Carnatic and Western jazz traditions by Guru Kaaraikkudi R. Mani, his Sruthi Laya ensemble and the Australian Art Orchestra in Coimbatore, Chennai and Hyderabad which is really hard to say but I’m sure will be an absolute hoot.
I also have to put together a menu for a traditional Aussie BBQ which could be interesting seeing that white bread and sausages aren’t readily available in India.