The Student Representative Committee (SRC) is currently in talks with the university to create a new music and arts festival to be held September. The event will be the second attempt to replace Conception Day after ‘FAME’ woefully flopped last year. The SRC created an optimistic Facebook event inviting students to give suggestions on what the new event might look like:
In 2016, the SRC wants to create an event that is better than FAME, bigger than Conception Day and more fun than that first joyride you took when you got your Ps. But we need your help! To make this event exactly what you want it to be, we need you to give us all the feedback you have: what did you like and not like about Conception Day? What did you think of FAME? What event would you like to see in 2016?
Writing for Grapeshot, Michael Pellegrino, who is the founder of the ‘Bring Back Conception Day’ petition and Facebook page, says the SRC does not need a new concept – it just needs to bring Conception Day back.
Conception Day: An irreplaceable institution
Words || Michael Pellegrino
Conception Day. A day of booze, quality live music and a celebration of all sorts of shameless and forgetful behaviour. While such themes ring true of the festival itself, it’s the tradition and irreplaceable vibe Conception Day gives the student body that makes it the staple event of every university calendar – well for 41 years up until 2014.
Australia’s longest running music festival has its roots buried deep in the quirky social web of Macquarie student life since its inception in 1969. What started off as a day of pranking, harmless shenanigans and disrupting traffic has effectively evolved into a gala of university life and all things Macquarie – one that has delivered solid line ups of countless music inspirations including Birds of Tokyo, Blue Juice, Flume, Tigerlily and Allday just to name a few. To the annoyance of the greater part of the student body, the festival was canned in 2014, due to a “decline in student numbers”. Thankfully (not) we were given FAME instead.
It is harder to decide on what was more disappointing: axing Conception Day or replacing it with FAME – a shoddy collection of overpriced food trucks, downcast ‘performers’ with untuned guitars, and collapsing marquees (with a capacity of 200) that was attended by three people for a ‘rock concert’. An ugly failure and an easily forgettable mark on the history books of Macquarie University, FAME triggered the movement that we call “Bring Back Conception Day”.
Yes, an initiative even older than “Keep Sydney Open”. LAME Festival was a blessing in the sense that, like every great festive figure, it made us, the party-loving peeps we are, realise how grateful we are for Conception Day, its place in our heart, and the fact that most of our parents were probably passing out by the Macquarie lake before we were.
So where to now?
We have easily accomplished the tasks of ‘meme-ing’ and absolutely hacking FAME to death via online protest in favour of bringing back Conception day (pun absolutely intended). In fact, that has proved to be the most effective way to centralise the sentiment against FAME and profess our love of Conception Day.
But how exactly do we get Conception Day back? I mean that is what its all about isn’t it? Like any movement, for the retrieval of Conception Day to be successful, we must unite as a student body to communicate to the university that the very essence of Conception Day is not only in our birthright as Macquarie students, it is an irreplaceable experience that we are entitled to. From our gnome-stealing forefathers, to breaking the world record for mass tequila consumption in 2003, to the classic village-based Conception Day ‘pre’s’, where a vodka-fuelled 8 am breakfast is the norm, there is nothing quite as special to Macquarie about Conception Day.
Despite giving us a bean bag haven we call “Muse”, overpriced food trucks at LAME Festival, or even our own train station, there is nothing as special and as meaningful to the heart of Macquarie other than Conception Day.
*The SRC is continuing to take recommendations on the new event and can be contacted through the ‘Macquarie University SRC’ Facebook page.