A weekend of nothing and a recap on the Brisbane Twestival

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It’s 2:30pm on a Saturday afternoon – I’ve only been awake for a few hours, just had a shower, ate a couple of slices of left-over pizza, checked my email, cranked some old-school Leftfield, George is asleep at my feet and now it’s time for a beer and a blog post.

This is the first weekend in ages that we haven’t had anything planned, so my legacy to do stuff has been going quite well – although I must admit, I’m pleased to have a weekend to kick back, eat pizza, drink beer and watch DVDs which was what most weekends used to consist of.

A few weeks back, we went to our first Brisbane Twestival. What is a Twestival? It’s basically a global series of events designed to bring Twitter users together in an off-line environment and in the process create global awareness (and raise money) for a charitable cause.

Twitter users from all around the world came together at the various local meet-ups (twestivals) organised between the dates of 10-13 September 2009.

Ok, ok, I know this may not sound like the most interesting or exciting event to go to given the geeky nature of it and the fact that a lot of people who are incredibly social online are quite the oposite when you take their keyboard away… not that I can talk – I’m much the same… and as a side-note, I feel a bit hypocritical when I preach about the values of social media lately as my blogging has been sporadic at best, and my tweeting, facebooking and even reading other blogs has been minimal of late.

But all that aside – social media is a very powerful tool and when used to raise money for a noble cause, it’s even better.

This particular Twestival was designed to raise money towards the prevention of youth suicide. To do this, they had live bands, comedy acts, some dancing (which was dubbed as burlesque… and although a little risque, I personally wouldn’t have considered what I saw as ‘burlesque’… but still entertaining) and an art auction.

The highlights of the night (other than catching-up with a few online buddies) were a couple of the bands – one being a very funny comedy act called The Complete First Season and the artwork we bought in the auction.

We generally don’t buy art – we’ve talked about it for years saying how it’d be cool to have some funky paintings around the house, and have even contemplated creating some of our own artwork but have never actually done anything about it… until now.

The auction started and we excitedly placed a bid – partially for novelty purposes as we don’t normally partake in auctions, partially because we knew all money was going towards a great cause, but primarily because the Andy Warde piece up for sale was very cool. To get an idea of his work, check-out some of his stuff from a recent exhibition Andy had a the Joshua Levi Gallery (incidentally the same place that facilitated the Twestival).

Then someone raised our bid, to which we responded… and as you would expect, this went on in true auction-style for a while… til it got the the point where the fun of bidding started to be replaced with the reality that we were about to actually spend two or three times more than our pre-planned drinking budget for the night on a painting. Given that we’re closet alcoholics… and that we hadn’t actually been drinking (much to our dismay, there was no alcohol at the event, but there were some very tasty cup-cakes and some tiny gourmet burgers that made you feel like a giant whilst eating them)… the auction was starting to get a little scary.

In the end, Kristy held strong, kept bidding and we won the piece… it cost us a few hundred dollars and when chatting with one of the organisers, he explained that the money raised from that one purchase would have been enough to save nearly 10 youths from popping themselves – so I felt pretty good about that.

Not to mention that we now had our first-ever, proper piece of artwork, which is now mounted on our lounge-room wall…. and what’s even better is that it isn’t just some snobby piece of work that we bought at posh exhibit with fancy pants people wearing monocles and throwing around words like ‘existentialism’… the piece has character, was purchased for a noble cause and comes with a great story attached – how many people do you know that have purchased artwork from a social media meetup?

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