From the time of the launch itself, the people at the City of Stonnington and the festival - in particular Odilla O'Boyle, Peter Redden and Adrian Jackson have made the process of being involved an easy and positive experience. It is refreshing to be included in something as a participant instead of feeling like a necessary evil as I did at Melbourne Jazz, slinking in and out of venues with my Media Pass tucked under my arm except when I absolutely had to flash it.
I don't think for one moment that it's okay to be writing all the stuff that I do for nothing or very little money, and nor do the people who don't pay me to do it, by the way. In fact the people who don't pay me to write are in the same boat themselves. But I do it anyway, and one of the reasons I can afford to do all this writing for free or very little is because festival organisers see the benefit in having text and photos--formalised conversations--happen around their event.
It is so yucky to have it done grudgingly, and really great to have it done generously. Thanks, peeps at Stonnington. It means a great deal to me that I feel like I'm part of something and made welcome. Nobody likes to feel like a crummy hanger-on!