Mon 14 May 2012
Rolling into Clunes as the stalls unfurled for Booktown, it felt like we’d slipped into a parallel universe. Books! said all the signs. Yes, we too have books! shouted the rusty mechanics on the corner. Need some books? asked the Town Hall. We’ve got you covered!
This weekend past, Team Dumbo Feather, led by our superstar beekeeper, brewer and chief finance officer Simon, hauled our 1960s Airstream into the Victorian goldfields for a marvellous, fantastic, surreal weekend celebration of all things wordy. 15,000 others did the same, and it feels like we got to meet all of them.
Amidst all the haybales, the Narnia closet, the old-time street organ, the yabby pies, the stacks of vintage copies of Life from the 1950s, we all had a blast. We made so many new friends over the two days, welcomed many new subscribers, met heaps of fans of the mag, and we fed you all mulled wine, biscuits and coffee.
People will tell you (as they always tell me) that folks don’t have time to read these days, or don’t want to slow down and think deeply. Next time somebody tells you that, point them to Clunes. I lost count of the number of lengthy conversations I had with Booktown punters excited to discover a magazine that didn’t want to treat them like everybody else did. It’s an audacious play, to stake the future of your remote town on something so anachronistic as the printed book, but it seems like it’s working. Stick with it, Clunes — you’re giving us all faith.
Huge thanks to Cake Wines for their generous donation of wine, which kept the punters lounging on our astroturf very happy. Eagle-eyed aficionados were quick to spot the Beci Orpin-designed label on the Sauvignon Blanc.
Profits from our (phenomenal) coffee sales are going to Pigeons, the youth literacy project featured in Dumbo 28.
And, of course, thanks to everybody who chipped in to help out for the weekend – Team Dumbo were Simon, Sarah, Jessica, Mike, Michelle, Sabine, Kaj, Chloe, Josephine and myself. I don’t think any of us will forget this weekend, and we can’t wait to return next year.
Oh, and special thanks to Booktown’s Brad, Malcolm and Richard, without whom our Clunes would have been a coffeeless, trailer-destroyed literary misadventure. We owe you all more coffees than we managed to make you in the time we had.
Click here to see our fabulous Facebook photo album full of more fun, books and wine at Clunes.