After vacuuming most but not all of the house, I went to the uni for an information session about exchanges. I’m thinking of going someplace like London for a semester next year (can you imagine me with an accent?) and now have to figure out how much money to save, how to apply for various things and other such nonsense. The general information session wasn’t that helpful– at least, nothing more than the website– but I’ll go to the more specific ones (i.e. institution or country specific) and try to talk to some people who’ve already been on exchange. If I can only save up the money, it should be a really good experience– especially considering I’ve never left the country before!
I then went off to the State Library for the SLAM (Save Live Australian Music) rally. The rally was protesting liquor licensing laws which defined all venues playing live amplified music as “high risk” and imposed crippling security costs on them. Being the 34th anniversary of the filming of AC/DC’s music video It’s A Long Way To The Top, the rally recreated the said video, going down Swanston Street and up Bourke Street to Parliament House, followed by the RockWiz Orchestra and the Rats of Tobruk Pipes Band on a flatbed truck playing said song (with minor lyrical adjustments– “Riding down the highway/Going to the Tote…”, etc.). It was a pretty big turnout, over ten thousand I think, but I managed to keep moving, get some decent vantage points and take lots of photos.
There was loads of colourful characters, including a woman in a banana suit and two bizarrely-clad protester with a sign reading “Psychedelic freaks vote too!”. There were also heaps of musical instruments in among the crowd: guitars, trumpets, trombones, clarinets, accordions… all playing along with the band on the truck. The rally was also full of prominent Australian musicians supporting the cause; at one point, I was walking in between Paul Kelly and Tim Rogers– others present included Paris Wells, Wilbur Wilde, Dan Sultan and Claire Bowditch.
When we got to Parliament, the musicians got off the truck and up on a stage and we heard several speeches from the aforementioned musicians, as well as some others, including venue owners and the rally organisers. Luckily, I managed to get right up the front, which was good for taking photos, even if it did make me go deaf in the left ear from being next to a very large speaker. It was at this point that some Liberal politicians emerged from the Parliament with signs such as “Liberals love live music”, but they were abused and heckled by many in the crowd. Serves them right for being opportunistic, I think. Still, it doesn’t help Labor’s chances in an election year, what with other difficulties (don’t get me started on myki).
Then the rally finished and I had the pleasure of trying to get on a packed peak-hour (think Japan) train with my “Don’t Kill Live Music” placard that I had managed to pick up at some point. It’s just a reminder of going to back to uni and having to ride peak-hour trains again. Arrrrrrrrrrgh. Speaking of uni, I’ve sorted out my timetable. Hooray!