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The Black Wreath

10 YEARS AGO on November 11, 2011 – yes, 11.11.11 – The Black Wreath started its raucous journey as a record label and music venue in the heart of the country.

By Zoya Godoroja-Prieckaerts

This month, they’re celebrating this noteworthy milestone with a raging event, best described as a one-night music festival draped in black leather with punters and musicians howling to the moon in pure ecstasy. There’s no doubt, it’ll be big.

The line-up features strong local talent Jeremy Whiskey, SNAKES, Hell Machine, The Holy Dimes, and the recent ABC iView famous, Southeast Desert Metal. Also catch fresh new acts Xanadoom and Fleshvoid, and a taste of upcoming music with a number of the bands recording new albums at the Wreath this year.

And, as is customary, the Wreath releases a special 10 Year compilation album, commemorating the massive decade that has been.

So, what has it been like? It all started with a group of metal musicians, fed up with the local music scene – or lack thereof. “We were ambitious”, one reflects, “but we were also naïve”. A decade on, they’re quietly amazed they’ve achieved many of the goals they originally set out.

The Wreath now has rehearsal space, a proper recording studio, a music venue that attracts an array of groups, and “the way we’ve built Blacken [Open Air Festival] up – it’s now a big national event”.

Pondering the highlights, rather than pointing to a specific event, the word “comradery” comes up. “The way we all managed to take it much further than we ever thought possible. Through teamwork. By all pulling together”.

The anniversary is clearly not just an excuse to have a big bash, but a moment to reflect on and recognise how DIY and community culture can positively impact a place. It’s a big part of Mparntwe/Alice Springs now, and while the original collective has shifted over the years, the space continues to draw people from various walks of life – not just those draped in black leather – and provide a platform for creative expression.

As it’s been supported by more people, the concept, too, has expanded, so it not only supports heavy metal music now, but local music more broadly. Let’s show this space the community support it’s shown us. Get down to The Black Wreath for a celebratory night.


The Black Wreath’s 10th Anniversary
WHEN SAT 13 NOV | 5PM–LATE
AT THE BLACK WREATH, 2 SMITH ST, MPARNTWE/ALICE SPRINGS
COST $50
INFO facebook.com/theblackwreath

Thumbnail & header: Down With The Ship. Photo: Charlie Lowson

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