For three decades, Next Wave Festival has shaped the Australian arts landscape through imagination, bold ideas and passion for the new. Established in 1984 to foster creativity and experimentation, Next Wave’s focus has always been on the next generation of artists in a changing world. Career development, presentation opportunity and multi-disciplinary representation have been integral since our inception.
The 2004 Next Wave Festival UNPOPULAR CULTURE showcased an explosive and diverse range of responses to current issues and contemporary youth culture. Artistic Director Marcus Westbury embraced Melbourne’s inner-city laneways, old Dojos and empty buildings in an effort to destabilise the mainstream and give voice to a generation of young and emerging artists.
At Federation Square, 16 shipping containers were inhabited by Artist Run Initiatives for The Containers Project, presenting a range of multimedia responses to notions of dominant culture and the urban environment. Artist Tai Snaith transformed the cabinets of the Flinders Street underpass into a series of makeshift artist studios.
At the Festival Club, the first ever Freeplay conference was held and major regional program Colliding Worlds rolled out in the Melbourne CBD, as well as in the municipalities of Knox, Moe and Horsham. In all, UNPOPULAR CULTURE presented 600 artists in 90 projects, encouraging debate on subculture, commercialism and mass cultural appropriation.