Poster, dance music, Harbourbeats, paper, maker unknown, Australia, used by Australian Rock Company, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2001
This poster has significance as a record of music in youth culture around the turn of the 21st century. It helps to illustrate how poster art was used to communicate information to a mass audience about dance music events.
On New Year's Eve 2001 the Harbourbeats dance party was held at Wharf 3, near The Rocks in Sydney. Tickets were priced at $120. Unfortunately, many ticket holders were refused entry because security staff and police told them the venue was full. Mounted police were called in to help with crowd control as disappointed ticket holders attempted to storm the entrance. Newspaper reports stated that the 14,000 tickets issued had exceeded the number of people that the venue was licensed to hold (8,000).
Coming from a collection of posters that Peta Wilcox accumulated through her extensive contacts in the music business, this poster helps to document the work of the Australian Rock Company (ARC), which Wilcox established in 1984 as a not-for-profit cultural organisation, to develop cultural activities for young people. The ARC has promoted general access performances by professional Australian rock music artists, often in isolated suburban and regional centres that are deprived of cultural activities for youth. Since the 1980s the ARC has presented up to 500 shows and workshops, many for under 18s and all-age audiences, providing entertainment that is both contemporary and relevant. These have taken place in community venues around the country, in association with schools, community groups and local councils. Wilcox worked with a public-spirited, entrepreneurial passion to create entertainment opportunities for young people and to generate gigs for local bands. The ARC's initiatives developed leisure activities for young people in a non-alcohol environment. This has helped many young music fans experience the excitement of rock 'n' roll concerts without the presence of alcohol as a signifier of cultural status.
This is part of a collection of posters, stickers and promotional cards accumulated by Peta Wilcox, of the Australian Rock Company, from bands, bookers and record companies through her extensive contacts within the music industry.