I live in Perth and the rest of Australia has a joke about us.
“I went to Perth and it was closed.”
We are the capital city of Western Australia but we’re considered somewhat backwards from the other cities in this country. Our night life is dismal, you can’t have a meal at a restaurant after 9pm, our shops close at 5pm and they don’t open on Sundays. People often complain that there’s nothing to do in Perth, perhaps they’re just not looking in the right place.
All the things that make it sleepy and boring also make it unique. The life style is laid back, the people are friendly, sometimes you can go to the cinema and be the only one in there, and after reading an article in this week’s newspaper I realised we have so much more to offer.
Please Queue Quietly is a group that meets in public places and stages events when midnight hits. Their aim is to allow people to interact outside of ‘normal’ hours and utilise public spaces that have no other purpose after dark. They started out as a small gathering of close friends who shared poetry and ideas but word spread amongst fellow artists and the group now welcomes everyone who has something to share. Whether it be fiction, poetry, essays or journalism Please Queue Quietly encourages you to get on your Milk Crate and voice it. Their meetings have grown so popular they sometimes run until 4am, underground artists from all over Perth speaking to an audience of like-minded people. You can find out more from their website http://www.pleasequeuequietly.com
Bike Jam is a community of cyclists that host free night rides around Perth on the full moon, giving people the opportunity to view the city in an alternative light. They ride between the city and Fremantle sometimes stopping at cafes to maximise the social benefits. They have now formed a network with Please Queue Quietly sometimes ending the ride at one of their events where they can join with other night owls.
Photography Night Walks started three months ago and is run in both Melbourne and Perth, the idea is that people interested in photography can come together and interact while learning about night shooting. It costs $30 and the group meets in Perth on Thursday and Sunday nights for 1 ½ hours, at the end of the walk they stop in to view the work in public locations on digital screens. This group isn’t just for experienced photographers, they encourage anyone with an interest in photography and you don’t need to have a fancy camera either, you can use your phone if need be. Visit their website http://www.photographynightwalks.com
I haven’t participated in any of these events yet but they all appeal to me. I think it’s great that people are thinking outside the box and encouraging creative and social diversity in supportive environments. It doesn’t matter if the shops are closed because the streets will always be open, all you need is a fresh idea and the right attitude.