22 May 2024

It's Society City's fifth birthday party - and you're invited

| Zoe Cartwright
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Chaotic, ad-hoc and charming, Society City celebrates its fifth birthday on Saturday 25 May.

Chaotic, ad hoc and charming, Society City celebrates its fifth birthday on Saturday 25 May. Photo: Zoe Cartwright.

It’s been a rocky road but Wollongong’s Society City has survived to celebrate its fifth birthday, and you’re invited.

In April the community collective put out a call for help to pay down outstanding debt and get back on its feet after a few tough years.

Manager Josh Shimmen said supporters were more than generous, and the creative hub was keen to say thank you with an extravagant – and free – birthday blitz on Saturday 25 May.

READ ALSO Wollongong creative space Society City calls for help to keep the lights on

“To pay that rent back and get to a square position and give this space a real chance at being a viable community-run venue, we just want to say a huge thank you,” he said.

“We’re going to have 12 hours of music, art, poetry, comedy, jewellery workshops, zine workshops, tarot workshops, all for free.

“We want to bring people in here to check it out, put art on the walls, and foster the sense of community that has always been the goal.”

The event will run from 2 pm to 2 am and include live music from Illawarra artists such as Proxy Divers, Xavier Do and Artyrs Martyrs.

Drinks, coffee and pizza will be available for purchase from the bar, and a temporary garden lounge will be set up outdoors. BYO food is welcome.

Josh said that with a clear slate he was looking to the future and had big ambitions for what the community could achieve with the space over the next five years.

READ ALSO Sending me off my trolley: Why does grocery shopping feel like Minority Report?

“Now we’re in a position to grow this space into an even more special venue,” he said.

“It gives you a space to go outside your home where you’re free to exist and there aren’t many places you can go where you’re free to exist.

“In five years’ time I’d love to see us at double the size we are now.

“I’d love to prove we can keep our values and make this concept commercially viable and to make more of these spaces out in the world where people can go to just exist.

“We’ve got this far with no money and everything secondhand – imagine what we could do with some investment.”

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