It's been a while since the last Orcon Great Blend – December, in fact – but I can confidently say that this one is worth the wait. We have a new venue, the Civic Wintergarden; a new partner, The Edge; and a new theme: creative collaboration.
The doors of the Wintergarden will open at 7pm, Friday September 10 and the event forms part of The Edge's Deep and Meaningful series.
Stage presentations will begin around 7.45 with some old chat from yours truly, and a preview of the forthcoming revamped Public Address website, courtesy of CactusLab.
Then I'll be conducting an onstage interview with Simon Grigg (we're flying him in from Bangkok) on the theme of creative management in general and what really happened with 'How Bizarre' in particular, drawing on the book Simon is preparing. I wanted the presentations this time to be richly visual, and Simon is even now digging through boxes of old photographs. You won't hear or see this stuff anywhere else.
There'll be a break, then 95bFM's ukulele queen Silke Hartung will introduce the second part of the programme with a musical collaboration of her devising.
There follows the centrepiece of the evening. In keeping with the theme of collaboration (and many thanks to The Edge's Bronwyn Bent for distilling the idea there), I've arranged the following works.
Emily Perkins and Dylan Horrocks have been creating a comic-book "conversation" – a page a day, turn-about – about writing. They'll "perform" the conversation on stage, and I'll ask them some questions about it.
And painter Karl Maughan and graffiti artist Askew One are preparing a large-scale collaborative work to be presented on the night, along with Askew's video journal of the work's creation.
The idea in both cases has been to bring together talented people in different but related disciplines to see what new things emerge.
That will mark the end of the formal part of the evening, but it will be anything but time to go home.
Simon Grigg will be exercising his DJ muscles in a purpose-built "nightclub" we're building for him – drop-in parquet dancefloor and all -- in the main Wintergarden room. Bring your dancing shoes.
In the adjacent Safari Room, there'll be another bar, and a relaxed conversation space.
And in the Taj Mahal Room, NZ On Screen (who are about to be added to Orcon's O-Zone scheme for zero-rated traffic) and Flying Nun Records are working together on an intriguing project that will directly involve you all as punters. I'll let you know about that when we have all the details together.
It's also our intention that you will be able to take away, in some form, the collaborations presented on the night. Stay tuned for details on that.
And, I need hardly add, the cost of entry for all this will be the same as all the other Great Blends: FREE.
You can thank Orcon and The Edge for that.
All you need to do is complete the Orcon Great Blend RSVP form, come along on the night and stick around to meet people, participate and shake some booty.