45 YEARS OF ACTING UP! FRIENDS OF THE EARTH BANDS & GIGS

Friends of the Earth podcast history series made in collaboration with 3CR 855 AM community radio show Acting Up!    Monday 2.00pm.  Ratbags, peaceniks and agents of change, resistance radio that explores the movements that made us. 

45 years of Acting Up!  Friends of the Earth Bands & Gigs audio episode

Listen up mp3
Presenters: Megan Williams and Em Gayfer
Guests: Leanne McLean, Beth Cameron, Anthony Amis

Red Gum hand bill 1979Red Gum hand bill 1979

Dance with us down a musical memory lane as we recall 45 years of Friends of the Earth bands and gigs.  Jazz launching an anti-nuclear protest, music at a wilderness Protestival, local pub gigs, or drag on the Darling, Friends of the Earth brings together musicians, artists and activists to form grass roots communities in creative resistance.  Here’s some key musical moments and discover how to connect with Friends of the Earth to party with purpose for our planet.

Key moments: Friends of the Earth Bands & Gigs

1974 FOE Melbourne supports an Australian vessel sailing to Moruroa to protest Pacific nuclear testing.  Activist Rolf Heimann's Tahiti ketch sailed from St Kilda pier after a speech by Jim Cairns, to the sounds of a jazz band. 

1976 The Movement Against Uranium Mining (MAUM) is established in Australia to form a network of anti-nuclear organisations including Nuclear Free Australia and Friends of the Earth. United with trade unions, Indigenous leaders and activists, MAUM campaigns for Aboriginal Land Rights and leads national protests to stop the mining and export of uranium, with many bands holding benefit gigs at pubs and university campuses.

1977 Indigenous land rights and uranium mining protests continue across Australia with FOE fundraising concerts supporting campaigns.

Early 1980s FOE Melbourne starts Musicians Against Nuclear Energy (MANE) including bands such as Redgum, Australian Crawl, The Angels, Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons, Atilla and the Panel Beaters, and the Incredible Shambles Band.  The national Movement Against Uranium Mining grows and 20,000 people march in Melbourne, as Victoria goes nuclear-free, and FOE helps to establish the Coalition for a Nuclear Free Australia.

Early 1990s Around 1,000 people pack into a FOE Melbourne fundraiser with Spider Bait headlining the sold-out gig.  Punk, rock and country bands play local pubs to raise money for FOE Melbourne collectives.

Summer 1993 - 1994 FOE Melbourne joins the Wilderness Society and Concerned Residents of East Gippsland to form the East Gippsland Forest Alliance.  A Forest Festival held in East Gippsland establishes the Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO).

Mid-1990s onwards Friends of the Earth, Melbourne Food Co-op & Café caters for local music and arts festivals, protest gatherings and Confests, teaming up with FOE collective actions.  Bands play pub gigs across the city and in the bush to support FOE Melbourne.

1997 Nuclear Exposure Tour participants form a collective and hold the Roxstop Action and Music Festival in South Australia with over 300 people gathering at Roxby to protest against mine expansion.  After three days at Roxby Downs, protestors move to Alberrie Creek on Finnis Springs Station for a music festival held over three nights.  

FOE Melbourne's first Indigenous Solidarity gathering hosts South American indigenous dancers and musicians.

1998 FOE Melbourne hosts the Indigenous Solidarity Conference, held on the banks of the Maribyrnong river with a gathering of 600 Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists from around Australia, with Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter, and Chris Wilson performing.

Late 1990s - 2000s Local DJs and artists support the annual FOE Melbourne Ball with community radio allies, activists and local creatives producing wonderful, self-made fundraising events, attracting new supporters and promoting local performers such as the Wolfgramm Sisters.

2011 FOE Melbourne organises MUSIC FOR MUCKATY benefit gig to support the campaign against a radioactive waste dump at Muckaty, Northern Territory.

2012-2014 The Leard-Pilliga State Forest blockade in NSW, started by Jonathan Moylan and Murray Drecshler in 2007, in solidarity with Gomeroi traditional custodians and supported by FOE and allied activists, dig in to resist coal mining.  The forest protest camp, nestled in the hills of Maules Creek, sprouts a satellite camp Kashmir to host the Bat Attack Protestival, supported by Bat Attack Radio, offering skill-shares, poetry and music throughout waves of peaceful protests and lock-on arrests.  Over 60 musicians and performers journey to support the blockade from across the country.

2015 Friends of the Earth’s Perry Street Festival is held over one day in the side street next to Friends of the Earth Melbourne HQ, to promote community and sustainability, and to showcase local artists and musicians, organic and vegan food and fair-trade goods, supported by Yarra City Council. 

Friends of the Earth Australia Turns 40 gig held on 8 May with music by Glitter Rats, Sugar Fed Leopards, Black Orchids, and shadow performance by Lynne Kent and Hula Hoops by Sam Starr, at Circus Oz Spiegeltent, Collingwood, VIC.

2016 3CR Radio Breakfast program broadcasts live from FOE Melbourne, a collaboration between FOE’s Food Co-op and 3CR supported by the Yarra City Council.  Programs air local live music and cover environmental, local Indigenous and community news and discussion, with FOE members presenting segments on current campaigns.

2018 FOE Melbourne Forest Disco Fundraiser, held 27 July at Bar 303 High St, Northcote.

Get Up and Dance #4: For Energy Justice, held 7am, 16 March at FOE Food Coop.

2019 FOE River Country Cabaret and Variety Show, ‘Darlings of our Darling’ on Friday 13 September showcases acts of creative resistance held at Kinchega National Park, NSW.

Friends of the Earth Australia’s 45th Birthday Party held 25 October at The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood, with music by Hello Tut Tut, Allysha Joy, and Claddy and DJs.


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