A warm welcome to TiNA 2015 from our new festival director, Kate Britton

I first stumbled on TiNA in the late 90s while a student at Merewether High. It was the year after BHP announced its closure and the Newcastle Knights won their first NRL grand final. The town was in a time of massive change and totally sports crazy. Amidst all this TiNA was a revelation. It was exciting to see so many young artists, writers and musicians in Newcastle. I was hooked and have attended TiNA almost every year since – as a punter, a participant and a reveller. Every October long weekend, my mum and dad’s backyard fills up with out of town friends camping and hanging out. It’s a big, loud, party of a weekend- my favourite time to be in Newcastle.

Stepping into the role of Executive Producer this year has been a dream come true. I’m excited to bring some of that old party spirit I remember back to the festival – people on the streets, trying things out and meeting each other. The last festival producers, Sarah Thrift and Simone Sheridan, did a great job of steering TiNA into this – its 18th year. And to honour their efforts we’re going to throw one hell of a party for our birthday.

2015 welcomes three of our favourite co-presenters back to do their thing and share their amazing artistic programs with us – National Young Writers Festival, Crack Theatre Festival and Critical Animals. These three have each been a part of TiNA for over 10 years, and we couldn’t be more excited about how their programs are shaping up this year. National Young Writers Festival will bring some of Australia’s most exciting young literary talent to town, staging a huge program of talks, readings, workshops and performances – not to mention the famous Festival Ball, the jewel of our Saturday night program.

Crack Theatre Festival sees experimental theatre-makers and performers of all kinds converge on Newcastle to take over a space for 4 days of laughter, tears, ideas and plenty of dancing. With performers ranging from teens to centurions and performances spanning the spectrum from under an hour to a full 24, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Critical Animals will once again showcase exciting emerging and experimental contemporary art and ideas, invading spaces from The Lock-Up to a very special apartment in Cooks Hill and the digital realm. Look out for local artists hitting the streets with some pretty wild roving projections in the evenings too – this year Critical Animals are going well beyond the gallery walls!

We are also excited to bring a new friend into the fold – Ladyz in Noyz, who bring women working in experimental and noise music together to explore shared ideas and challenges, as well as run workshops teaching girls how to produce their own sounds and beats. All this, plus special events from The Follower, veteran Reclaim the Streets organiser Peter Strong, and a few soon-to-be-announced guests ensure 2015 is looking bigger and better than ever!

Massive thanks to our eye-catching new look by Headjam too – TiNA is 18, all grown up and looking to party. I can’t wait to share the program release with you on the 27th of August. Find out how you can get involved via our website, in the next issue of The Follower or for very special sponsorship and supporter opportunities get in touch with us via marketing@thisisnotart.org.

Oh, and be sure to look out for the black balloons…


– Kate Britton, TiNA  Executive Producer