Sat 19 June, 12pm-5pm
Old Folks Association
8 Gundry Street, Auckland
Auckland Zinefest first appeared in the mid 2000s and its latest incarnation has been an annual event since 2009.
My first: This was my first visit to the Auckland Zinefest and my first visit to New Zealand. An interesting note for people not in New Zealand but who might be considering heading over next year is that the flights were much cheaper than I expected ($250 to get there from Melbourne and $200 to get back).
The space: The space the zine fair was held in was a kind of community hall. It had a real community DIY feel to it, a grassroots celebration feel, a zinemakers zine fair! This was the first time the Old Folks Home space had been used for the fair, having been held in the smaller space of St Kevin’s Arcade in 2013.
Newer, larger: Despite moving to a newer, larger space stall-holders still had to be turned away in 2014 due to all tables being filled. Add to the fact that all tables were completely booked out (50 stalls), the room was completely pumping with zine fans literally all afternoon. There was not a centimetre of space all afternoon such was the large turn-out for the event. I should say that I sold a lot of zines too and left the fair at the end of the day feeling like a zine-world Clive Palmer.
Hot zines: The large crowd meant I did not pick up as many New Zealand zines as I had hoped as I was run off my little zinemaker feet all afternoon trying to keep up with sales on my stall. Lots of art/design zines, lots of zines that were new to my eyes. “Quality” is the work that I am left with to describe the zines on offer.
The vibe: A celebration. The fair was something to really be proud of. One of my favourite things in the world is helping to carry the trestle tables into a room before a zine fair. As we drove to the local church to pick up tables, pack the tables onto a trailer and into zinemaker hatchbacks, it felt like doing things for ourselves is the most important thing in the world.
Pack up: When 5pm rolled around nobody wanted to leave.
New Zealand hospitality: The zinefest organisers made me fall in love with New Zealand hospitality. Zinefest folk picked me up at the airport, gave me a couch to sleep on, took me out on the town and took me to a family barbeque where several pig hunters discussed their pig hunting adventures (a highlight of my trip!). I am now most keen to sample other New Zealand zine fairs (Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin are next on my wish list). High five to the zinefest organisers.