‘Perth Has No Culture’? Explain This Then Sweetie: KickstART festival
By Adelaide Cromwell-Keenan
Last Saturday I attended KickstART festival for Youth Week WA. For those that may not know, KickstART is a free festival aimed to celebrate young minds with a collection of stalls run by young people selling paintings, jewellery, clothes and even free workshops for those on a uni student budget (me). I have to admit that my initial thoughts surrounding KickstART were a little cynical. Although this was mostly because, at first, I didn’t really believe that Perth had a cultural scene, let alone enough culture to have a festival celebrating it. But nonetheless I was excited to get amongst everything and pretend I was cool enough to be apart of the crowd.
As I made my arrival I couldn’t help but make a beeline for the food truck advertising the heaven in a compact square known as the ‘Snack Pack’, just like any hungover uni student would. I demolished that like a starved animal handed food for the first time in three weeks, before going for a stroll to take in the atmosphere. One thing I really noticed about the festival was the wholesome vibe to the place: it was awesome seeing people passionately talk about their dreams and proving that their art is more than a hobby. KickstART provides a space for young people gather and discuss what matters to them without stifling their ability to goof around with each other. It reminded me of being in high school and hanging out in your friend’s backyard, just having a laugh whilst sharing your dreams and aspirations. It sounds a bit corny, but stuff like that really makes my heart explode. It didn't hurt that I saw a very cute dog which added a whole new layer to the sweetness (he was a Dalmatian, and perfect in every way).
After having taken a few laps around the festival I spent some times chatting with the people running the stalls and getting amongst the activities. The first stall I went to caught my eye because it was advertising clothes for two dollars, and I’m like a busy mum when it comes to good deals. After ransacking the clothes I started to learn about ‘Live Below the Line’, specifically the $2 challenge. This is where a person raises money by only spending two dollars on food a day, for a week. Frankly, I still don’t know how that is even possible considering it took me two dollars to get there, but it definitely gave me a more in depth perspective on poverty and what people have to go through to survive.
The next stall I ventured towards had a cute little set up where you could customise canvas bags in the back and learn about improving the environment in the front. For fear of being destroyed by a sewing extraordinaire kid doing wonders to her tote bag, I decided to stick with the chitchat. I ended up delving into a conversation about eliminating disposable materials from your daily use, especially decreasing the use of plastic goods- to which I panicked, remembering I was carrying a very plastic backpack. Hearing people talk about ways to improve the world makes me feel so powerful and inspired. I always leave the conversation being like, ‘shit yeah! Let’s save the world together’.
All in all, KickstART was a really positive experience for me. The enthusiasm in the air was so contagious I almost wanted to chuck a seat on the grass somewhere and tell absolute strangers about my own life goals and interests, just to feel part of the vibes. Youth oriented events like these are important because they conveys how young people are trying to make a name for themselves in the world, and their enthusiasm to be taken seriously as an artist despite their age. There’s always something reassuring when young people gather to talk about things that matter to them, be it their art or political matters. Despite my cynicism going in I’m really glad I went because, honestly, KickstART proves that if the kids are our future, we’re going to be pretty okay.