An Unexpected Experience at The Big Anxiety Festival Opening Night

anxiety festival

My night out at the anxiety festival…

Anxiety is a problem we are often faced with today and it can come in various forms – from the pressure of accomplish goals to feeling nervous at uncertainty. When you think about anxiety you would naturally associate it with feelings of restlessness and internal chaos. This is however only the general idea of the condition. It happens to everyone and I think it becomes a chronic state when you don’t channel these feelings in creative ways. As an artist and writer this is how I cope with stress, I paint and write it out of my system.

Full of curious anticipation, I was not quite sure what to expect at the opening of the Big Anxiety Festival here in Sydney but it was AMAZING. Everyone at UNSW went all out to make this a success and were really excited to be there. Among so many wonderful programs we got to see “Not Knowing of Another”, “Parragirls Institutional Care” and “Beta Shockers”. Here are my reviews on each one but to truly experience the festival you must really make your way there.

Not Knowing of Another

A combination of screen images and sound, the soundscape of this video was breath-taking. With a combination of the activities of the sea and wind, those in attendance were able to feel the freshness the natural elements around us provide. In all honesty, the ‘calm bafflement’ promised before this program does not describe in full detail the feeling I had.

Parragirls Institutional Care

This video program was absolutely heart breaking to see and feel. What these girls must have gone through. I did not stay for very long as it was quite an emotional experience for me however on a larger scale of things it was a well put together program and by far more amazing than any horror movies I have watched. This is however definitely not a movie, it was real life and you can only hope that these girls find peace with what had happened. An experience so brutal it would make you think if there really was a god.

Beta Shockers

The Beta Shockers video installation by Tina Havelock was designed to generate an ‘anxiety/empathy’ loop. This was possible as moments of discomfort were created in a mash-up of recorded moments of the performance-anxiety experienced by well-known musicians. Anyone can be affected but we must not let our fear and anxiety define who we are.

anxiety festival

Got this photo on Facebook – was too dark to take a picture on my iPhone but the experience was just as incredible. She truly brings the sound and feelings alive.


anxiety festival

Life is contemporary art and the Big Anxiety Festival portrayed a super combination of real life events that could lead to anxiety as well as the perfect ‘anesthesia’ for it. There is hardly any need to take things too seriously. Nature and art available today should define how we live our life. Life is indeed art.

A must see event this summer. Find your way here.


Hello my name is Julie J. My love for painting and writing inspired me to create this platform. Enjoy your reading experience and if you have something to share, publish it. We welcome writers worldwide so start writing...



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