The weekend that never ends: Anti Fade Records and Queer PowerPoint help you have a NONSTOP WKND

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The weekend that never ends: Anti Fade Records and Queer PowerPoint help you have a NONSTOP WKND

Words by Luke Carlino

NONSTOP WKND is the choose-your-own-adventure closing Now or Never with a bunch of weird and wonderful shows.

We all wish the weekend went forever, and while mastering the complex nature of time may be tricky, Now or Never’s NONSTOP WKND is here to help you give it a red hot crack.

With 13 shows in iconic venues across two nights, venue-hopping couldn’t be easier. Every venue is located in close proximity – the likes of The Toff, Miscellania, Max Watts, Sub Club, The Curtin and Section 8. You’ll be able to explore from midday to the wee hours on September 1 and 2 with a one or two day pass. This will allow you to check out a whole range of excellent shows with very high production values: the lineup is packed with genre pioneers and boundary-pushing artists from Australia and around the world.

The tricky part will be choosing your route to ensure you make the most of the music, cutting-edge audio-visuals, thought-provoking talks and boundary-pushing performances on offer. So, to help with your due diligence, we caught up with two of the acts that make up part of the NONSTOP WKND program. Billy Gardner from Anti Fade Records tells us more about his post-punk and garage extravaganza at The Curtin, and Harriet Gillies from Queer PowerPoint explains why old tech is still kinda cool.

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On Saturday September 2, you can pop over to The Curtin to see one of Melbourne’s longest-standing classic punk bands, The UV Race, with dub/funk/punk sextet EXEK, two groups that rarely appear from their dark corners.

Geelong label Anti Fade Records, run by Gardner, has been releasing local gems since 2011 and pulled together this rare line-up of punk fusion which will be coupled with an opening set from Melbourne’s Delivery, a closing DJ set from Alien Nosejob and visuals from local artist Rowena Lloyd. 

“For any show I contribute to, I’ll try and go for something you won’t see every other weekend. I reached out to all these bands that I love greatly, and they all said yes,” explains Garner. “It’s been so good working on this with Rowena! She is full of great ideas and brings in a whole new and amazing aspect to putting on the event. We’re trying to give the night some sort of theme as something to remember it by – she’ll incorporate projections and have some risograph prints of her fabulous poster available to hand out on the night.”

Gardner explains how NONSTOP WKND is just the start of much more output for Anti Fade, which is gearing up for more releases and shows. “It’s been a slightly slow start to the year release-wise, but there’s loads coming up – a lot of killer follow-up releases from prior Anti Fade bands – plus an LP from a new band my brother has started called The Judges. There’s a hell of a lotta great records being wrapped up.”  

While the primary idea behind Now or Never is the use of cutting-edge technology across a variety of artistic mediums, one act is taking it back to the old school.

Sydney’s successful Queer PowerPoint revels in a digital tool from a simpler time, queering the corporate presentation staple from our capitalist overlords to ensure you have a good time. As creator Harriet Gillies explains, Queer PowerPoint was originally meant to be a one-off event post-lockdown, but people were very responsive to it. “We knew it was a hit when people stood on their chairs applauding to a slide transition where the screen folds itself up like a paper plane.”

Gillies says the nostalgic connection to this basic yet revolutionary tool struck a chord with audiences. “People also love hearing about things people are nerdy for and have accidentally deep-dived into over the internet.” To answer my query about bringing an old, worn-out knife to a futuristic tech gunfight, Gillies is quick to playfully answer, “I think you’ll find PowerPoint has a timeless quality to it. I also think that once the next AI-overlords have kept us as their servant class, we’ll still be doing daggy PowerPoint presentations for them.”

“Queer Powerpoint isn’t so much about creating queer content, but rather celebrating the fact that we are queers and have content.”

Gilles explains that this show may differ from other queer shows as it doesn’t touch on coming-out stories or queer experiences, “we all are queer, and we all are here, but what is the funny, daggy thing you have to tell me after that?”

Now or Never Festivals’ NONSTOP WKND featuring AntiFade records at The Curtin and Queer PowerPoint at The Toff runs over September 1 and 2, and tickets are available for all 13 shows.

Beat is an official media partner of Now or Never.