Summer Camp Festival: Revellers asked to fork out extra ‘Pay the Rent’ fee to compensate traditional owners of the land the events will be held on
A festival in Sydney and Melbourne is calling on ticketholders to ‘Pay the Rent’ with an additional fee to compensate traditional owners of the land the events will be held on.
Tickets for the Summer Camp Festival, to be held later this year, are currently available for as much as $228.88, with an optional, additional $3.01 ‘community donation’.
The separate fee is titled the ‘Pay The Rent’ First Nations Community Donation’.
Organisers have described the payment as a way to acknowledge that colonisation continues to affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
SHOULD FESTIVALS ASK GUESTS TO ‘PAY THE RENT?’ HAVE YOUR SAY IN THE COMMENTS
A festival in Sydney and Melbourne later this year is calling on ticketholders to ‘Pay the Rent’ with an additional fee to compensate traditional owners of the land the events will take place on
The two headline acts for the festival – which vows to ‘bring the best of queer culture’ – are Jessie Ware from the United Kingdom and drag queen DJ Trixie Mattel from the United States
‘This amount will be added to Summer Camp’s donation to a First Nations organisation chosen in consultation with the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council,’ it said.
The two headline acts for the festival – which vows to ‘bring the best of queer culture’ – are Jessie Ware from the United Kingdom and drag queen DJ Trixie Mattel from the United States.
Back in July 2021, when the Coalition was in government, Summer Camp Festival received a $397,328 federal grant under the RISE initiative.
The initiative was established as part of a $200million Covid recovery package for creative industries, and issued 541 grants to help relaunch Australia’s arts scene.
Summer Camp Festival, then operating under the business name Pride in the Parkland, received a grant in the fourth batch of approved recipients.
The Pay the Rent initiative has been around for a long time, but the concept has been at the forefront of recent discussions over the proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
While the constitutional amendment – if the referendum succeeds on October 14 – will not make any reference to ‘paying the rent’, some of the government’s handpicked First Nations advisors have been outspoken in their desire for a Voice to advance treaty negotiations.
Organisers have described the payment as a way to ‘Pay the Rent’ to the traditional custodians of the land our event is held on, acknowledging that colonisation continues to affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
The Pay the Rent initiative has been around for a long time, seen as a way to compensate Indigenous Australians for colonisation and the continued inhabitance of Australia
Prominent Yes Campaigner Thomas Mayo listed ‘all the things we imagine when we demand’ a Voice, including ‘reparations, land back, abolishing harmful colonial institutions’.
Mr Mayo said a ‘guaranteed representative body’ was ‘needed [to]… properly pursue the rent that is owed and an abolishment of systems that harm us’.
And prominent Voice architect Teela Reid said ‘Aboriginal people built the nation and now it’s time you pay the rent’.
More recently, it was revealed that Professor Megan Davis gave a speech in 2018 describing treaties as being ‘about reparations’ and that ‘Treaty is not an end, it’s a beginning’.
She said: ‘Treaties are legal texts. There will be disputes over interpretation. The treaties are about reparations for past injustices and they are about land and they are about resources.’
There are concerns, both within the No camp and the wider general public, that there is a undercurrent of trying to popularise the movement.
Lawyer Teela Reid, a Wiradjuri woman and public speaker, once described the proposal to change the constitution as a ‘journey with all Australians to demolish the systems that continue to oppress us’
Some of the government’s handpicked First Nations advisors have been outspoken in their desire for a Voice to advance treaty negotiations. Pictured: Teela Reid and Thomas Mayo
But Prime Minister Anthony Albanese flatly rejected calls to pay Indigenous Australians reparations.
He said in an interview last month it was wrong to imply the Voice could lead to reparations or ‘rent’ being paid to live on Australian land.
‘There’s nothing in the Uluru Statement about reparations,’ he said.
‘I don’t support reparations.’
While reparations are not mentioned in the one-page Uluru Statement which is being relied on for the Voice, the concept is discussed several times in the longer manifesto which informed the statement.
The official Pay the Rent movement describes the proposal as a means of moving ‘toward justice, truth, equality and liberation’.
‘Any non-Indigenous person, organisation, or business using or benefiting from First Nations’ land should Pay the Rent,’ the group says.
‘It is appropriate to Pay the Rent for special events held on First Nations’ land, such as weddings, conferences or festivals.’
In all, the group recommends people pay about one per cent of their annual income as a ‘good rule of thumb’, and the money is then funnelled back into Indigenous communities.
The official organisation has helped to fund 1,978 funerals and sorry business with the ‘rent’ money it has received from participants, who have the option to pay a one-off fee or make ongoing contributions.