We've been involved with CARBON since it began three years ago and I can't tell you how rewarding it is to see an independent festival become so successful. Some of CARBON's benefits are obvious; great people, interesting presentations, meeting and building relationships with like-minded people, parties, side events and zoo-hopping (ok, that's just some of us). Others are not so obvious.
People rave about the creative scene in cities like New York but are often derisive of what's here at home. First it was Bobby Hundreds (CARBON 2011) who blogged about Melbourne's thriving creative scene and the positive down-to-earth attitude of our locals. This was followed by legendary graffiti artist Futura (CARBON 2011) who has shared his genuine appreciation for Melbourne on camera during a return trip. Ricky Powell (CARBON 2012) publicly declared his love for our city (and its ladies) while Intrepid man-of-food Eddie Huang (CARBON 2013) embraced Melbourne's street food last year. Last year local artist friends found themselves chatting with the elusive Barry McGee (CARBON 2013) and Shawn Stussy (CARBON 2013) enthusiastically met some of our best indie publishers. People are pleasantly surprised by what they find here and tend to leave happy.
When people of a certain influence visit our city they go back and tell their friends. They blog about it, talk about it and start paying attention to our labels, creatives and businesses. Maybe they even come back for more? At a minimum they endorse and support a scene that's often overlooked and let people know we're worth flying 12 - 24 hours for.