If print media is dying, someone should probably tell the Festival of the Photocopier – because this year it’s planning to pull off one of its biggest events yet.
Run by Melbourne zine stalwart, The Sticky Institute, over the past ten years the festival has blossomed from a small zine fair outside Sticky’s premises in Degraves Subway into a full weekend of tours, parties and celebration. The culmination? A massive zine fair at Melbourne Town Hall.
“The number of applications we get has nearly tripled in the past five years,” says Thomas Blatchford, one of the coordinators of Sticky and an organiser of the festival. “That's the beauty of DIY publishing though, that it can be very easy for it to catch on. The percentage of zinesters who've contacted saying FOTP2018 will be their first time running a zine stall feels a lot higher than usual, too.”
The list of artists who’ll have stalls at the events includes local and international names such as Helio Press, Squishface Studio, Concrete Queers, Refugee Art Project, Tim Danko, Woolf Pack … “the list goes on!” says Blatchford.
In addition to the zine fair there will be other events dotted across the weekend. “We'll have our launch party upstairs at the Tote, a tour of the State Library of Victoria's vast zine collection, hopefully a tour of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives too, plus a heap of zine launches, talks and panels in our shop,” Blatchford explains. There’s also going to be a busy bee slash concert of sorts, where zine-makers can get together and put the finishing touches on their work.
When it comes to the zine fair itself however, it’s best to learn from the wisdom of the past – bring cash, bring a big tote bag, make some space on your wall, and be sure to clear your whole afternoon.