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For the past 3 years AoY have tried to be part of BITG but each time we have been knocked back. We haven’t let that discourage us though! With the help of Ali and the rest of the YEAH HQ team we have had a presence at the front gates and a chance to get our Peer Ed on!!
The support of the general public was fantastic! People remembered us from previous years and were super keen to come chat and take freebies or pose for photos. Including parents of young teenagers and even the police! Unfortunately the day ended on a low note, with a lot of people coming back only to tell us that all of the merch they had gotten from us was being confiscated at the gates. Our merchandise was being thrown in the bin! Confused, we approached the police officers who were overseeing the event to talk about our options and to find out if we could sit down and chat with the person who gave the orders to dispose of our merch. However, there was nothing we could do…. the event organizers had the right to stop anything they didn’t approve of coming into their venue!
Disheartened, we packed up and left.
Two weeks later, I got a call from Ali, she had the amazing news that AoY had been invited to XXXX Summer Sessions, an over 18 dance music event. They had been following all the media coverage we had gotten over BITG and wanted us to be part of their event. Although summer sessions was an older audience than we were hoping for, they were still within our demographic and the invitation was too good to turn down.
Our next hurdle was volunteers. Darwin’s AoY team consists of 6 people, unfortunately, due to the last minute invitation, life got in the way and we had difficulty pulling together a team.
Our SS team consisted of 3 Agents; Jasmine, Crystal and I, then we recruited friends.
10 amazing friends came to our rescue.
The day started early, with Jasmine and I heading down to set up the stall at 8.30am. Nothing went to plan and we were a bit lost about how to get the ball rolling. After a few hiccups, Jasmine coming down with something nasty and going home and a lot of help from the boys at St Johns Ambulance, things started falling into place.
Then, our volunteers started to arrive. The arrival of our vollies lifted my mood and we were ready for an awesome day in the sun!
We ran condom demos and had a hat give away for people who could perfectly put a condom on big red. We also ran the photozone, which, unfortunately didn’t kick off until late afternoon as our photographer got held up at her other job. She did however get some great shots and stuck around and helped us after we closed the photozone down. We had volunteers going out into the crowd with merch and getting people interested in who we were which resulted in a lot more people coming to visit us. We had some great conversations, some great photo ops and some serious fun!
Despite all of the hurdles we faced leading up to and on the day, I’m pretty happy to say, we pulled it off. I definitely learnt a thing or two, this being the first real music event I’ve had the privilege to attend with AoY. I know what I would do differently for next year, and just to take it all in my stride when things that are out of my control go wrong. My stress levels certainly soared the morning of SS and I’m pretty sure a few team members saw a different side to me, but on a whole, we pulled it off, and we have a lot to be proud of.
To the friends we conned into helping us, you guys are super awesome, like, seriously, we could not have done it without you!!