Current Issue #488

Adelaide’s Strangest Festival is Half-Way Here

Adelaide’s Strangest Festival is Half-Way Here

Neither Fraser-Barbour nor Juliet are new-comers to the Adelaide music scene; Fraser-Barbour plays in the bands Wireheads, Theta, Fair Maiden, Workhorse and perhaps most noteworthy: the B53’s, a B52’s cover band, which Juliette also plays in, as well as goth/post-punk outfit Rule of Thirds.

Though they’ve hosted smaller events before, Half Strange is their first foray into the world of festivals. Juliet explains “I was living interstate for a year and I came back here about two months ago…. Friends in my immediate circle [had] been feeling a bit frustrated that people [didn’t] just organise things, and wanting to organise something bigger I thought: why not?”


Their collective experience in hosting more modestly sized shows is reflected in the distinct structure of Half Strange. As Fraser-Barbour explains; each night is essentially a reflection of a different genre or musical taste.

“The Friday [will be] more electronic based, Saturday is eclectic, underground bands and-,” Juliet cuts in, “Sunday will be rockin’.

With this medley of genres sitting comfortably together under the Half Strange banner, Fraser-Barbour hopes that the affordability of the ticket will encourage those “who [might] usually only attend one of [the shows], to go to something they might not otherwise – and check out different musical outlets”.


The decision to space out the venues was an equally considered attempt to coax the shyer audiences out of any lingering post-winter trepidation. “[We] are trying to encourage people to look outside their usual avenues”, Harriet says. “Yeah,” agrees Juliet. “I feel it’s a cross between the familiar and something new.

Format and The Metro are familiar venues, but I feel like Saturday will be really good at the Bowls Club because there are no neighbours. You can be really loud, so it will be really free and fun.” Adelaide City Council were quick to recognise the merit of Half Strange, providing Fraser-Barbour and Juliette with funding that would enable them to pay all the artists and keep ticket costs down.

This, emphasises Fraser-Barbour, was their intention from the onset; “it was a really conscious decision to make [the festival] as accessible and affordable as possible”. “Whatever people are going to say about government sponsorship – if you can bring bands from interstate and put on three shows where there’s like 20 bands playing  and it’s 30 bucks for the whole thing…a [gold coin] per band basically… then I think  that government funding is great.”


Fraser-Barbour emphasises that the accessibility of the festival is related to their desire to make Half Strange as inclusive as possible. “We have a large amount of females on the line-up, two trans artists and people from culturally diverse backgrounds”.

There will also be contributions from emerging and established visual artists, with sculptures and light works on Saturday at the Bowls Club and the opening of a new exhibition at The Metropolitan Hotel on Sunday.

As well as partnering up with SWOP clothing exchange on Hindley Street for physical ticket sales, monthly club night Wild Style to decorate the Friday night and Parsec Café to provide a barbecue on the Saturday, Juliet excitedly reveals the final cherry atop the Half Strange cake. “The after party on Sunday is at La-Sing and everyone with a wrist band gets $1.50 off their drinks!”

Half Strange Festival Various venues (listed with line-ups below) Friday, September 30 until Sunday, October 2

Ticket available via:

Friday, September 30 Format

Saturday, October 1 Adelaide Bowls Club

Sunday, October 2 The Hotel Metropolitan

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