DC Fit Masthead

Wind It Up: A festival like no other

Olivia Afiabo

If you’ve ever been at a festival thinking to yourself, “I wonder who was behind putting all of this together?” you wouldn’t be alone.

Questions about planning, management, and inclusivity are often far from mind when you’re letting the music sweep you into that untouchable place of festival bliss.

Those questions do matter, though, just like the music and the experience matter. It’s those questions that bring festivals together and shape them into what will hopefully be Canberra’s youth driven and electric future.

Wind It Up music festival will not only allow partygoers to experience an event packed with music, performances, and dancers—bringing underground dance music to Capital’s centre—but will also incorporate workshops and industry talks, giving people a chance to learn before they dance.

It’s a two-day event, taking place over Friday 3 and Saturday 4 March, that will offer attendees workshops on building a creative career, social media management, and an introduction to DJing, amongst many other exciting opportunities to gain a better understanding of the music industry.

Festival organiser Isaac Dugdale came up with the concept of Wind It Up while travelling in Europe. When alerted to the fact that Canberra City was offering grants to pump more life into the heart of the capital, Isaac began to brainstorm what he could bring to the city, and its people, that would include a balance of learning and partying.

Inspired by the festival scene in Amsterdam, and Sydney’s Electronic Music Conference, he applied for Canberra’s, ‘Grants in the City’ program and Wind It Up was born.

“The way I had it in mind was that people would learn a bunch of stuff with likeminded people and then get to know each other at night when you’re partying,” says Isaac on his vision for the music festival. “I reckon parties are the best way to get to know people, especially in this sort of scene and industry. Most things for job opportunities, collaboration and everything, it all gets going by being friends with people and deciding to do stuff together.”

The format of the festival will allow for maximum learning and partying with both days kicking off with an exciting line-up of workshops and talks, each offering up to two hours of expertise from industry professionals. Following this chance to gain valuable inside knowledge about the dance music industry is when the music starts and the partying begins.

Headline acts for the Wind It Up: Verity Lane Party, which will take place on the Saturday evening from 4pm-11pm, include Wax’o Paradiso, Lauren Hamson and Gate Five.

If all of this weren’t enough, HerCanberra are proud to be presenting one of the talks at the festival. ‘Gender Issues in Club Culture’ will take place before the Verity Lane party and will host a panel of female music professionals exploring how gender comes into play in the dance music scene.

When asked about why it is so important for Wind It Up to be an inclusive event, Dugdale says, “I’m a proud feminist and party a lot, and at parties a lot of people have this idea that even if they’re feminists in their everyday life, when they’re partying that sort of goes out the window.”

“There’s a big cultural problem with it for sure, especially in the mainstream clubbing scene in Canberra, and everywhere. It’s sort of like, when you’re on the dance floor it’s as if there’s a different set of behaviours that are acceptable, and everyone just seems to be okay with that, which is pretty bad. So I want to have the conversation about it and try and show everyone what dance floors could be like.”

Wind It Up will be a fusion of music styles, with Dugdale expressing that festivalgoers will be able to look forward to “everything on the disco to techno spectrum—starting off light, soulful, and funky and then progressing into heavier and darker techno stuff.”

The festival will bring to life one of Canberra’s most underused spaces, its CBD, whilst also tapping into a concept the capital is yet to latch onto—festivals producing not only unique experiences, but also offering useful information for furthering the music industry. Wind It Up may well nurture the future of festival organisers and become a music festival gift to Canberra that keeps on giving.

If you’re interested in the event—as you most certainly should be—you will be in for not only music, workshops, and talks, but also a whole heap of great food, including plenty of vegan treats.

Along with food there will also be performances by dancers and graffiti artists, and a bunch of dance music related activities.

Wind It Up is your chance to meet people who share a passion for dance music and partying, but come Sunday morning you won’t feel like you’ve danced the night away without learning anything. And if you’ve never asked yourself “I wonder who was behind putting this festival together?” perhaps you will be after you’ve experienced all that Wind It Up has to offer. And perhaps the answer to that question might even be you.

the essentials

What: Wind It Up
When: Friday 3 March from 3pm and Saturday 4 March from 10am-11pm
Cost: $10 each for workshops and party, or for a limited time get $15 combined tickets for all of the workshops and the party
Where: Various locations around Canberra’s CBD
Web: www.winditupcbr.com


Olivia Afiabo

Olivia grew up in Canberra before moving off to Wollongong to study creative writing at the University of Wollongong. After receiving a Bachelor’s of Creative Arts degree she returned to the Capital to pursue a career in writing and publishing. The first step in this journey has been interning at HerCanberra and, though she misses the beach, being back with family and old friends has been a welcome change. There’s nothing she loves more than reading, writing and watching football (the ‘no hands allowed’ variety). More about the Author

  • Jane

    In The City Canberra runs the Grants In The City program. Currently The total value of this unique grants program is $340,000. This money is from the commercial property owners in the City and Braddon District (CBD). Isaac has been generously granted $10,000. It would be terrific if we could be acknowledged for our support of arts, performance and events in the CBD. Without this grant, it is likely that Wind It Up might not occur and Isaac may not learn about running events in public places managed by the ACT Government. You might have also seen our logo on the sponsors of the National Multicultural Festival. Since June 2016, there have been over 30 events that have been supported.