Lismore becomes "Lovemore"
LISMORE will become Lovemore for the month of May following a reconciliation of sorts last week between Lismore councillors and the Aquarius "immigrants".
After a long history of angst between local politicians and hippies, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Nimbin Aquarius Festival - long acknowledged as the moment the counter-cultural hippie revolution hit Australia - original festival performer Paul Joseph "proposed" to Lismore council.
"I went in with a bunch of flowers and said I was there to propose and they accepted, or rather, the Mayor wrote on Facebook that she blushingly accepted and they would change the name for the month," he said. "I was really only asking that Lismore be known as Lovemore but she went further, so I have high hopes for the long-term relationship."
Festival celebrations kick off on Thursday, May 9 with a four-day event in Lismore at the Star Court Theatre comprising films, music, speakers and forums.
"It is a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the festival in Nimbin, but more importantly it's a celebration of the maturing of our culture in this area," Mr Joseph said.
"As a result of the second white invasion of rainbow warriors, or rainbow worriers, we've really transformed this region from a once very conservative, down-at-heel, depressed area into a colourful, joyful region where council and community can now have a laugh together and share the spirit.
"Five years ago we had an exhibition in the regional gallery and that was the first time in 35 years that council had acknowledged and embraced this culture that's grown here.
"As I said to councillors the other night, that was our first little dalliance, our first date if you will, and we're hoping this will be our wild weekend.
"Maybe in the future the name change can become permanent if we create a real partnership with council, community and business because we would love to see this become an annual event for Lismore."
(Lismore City Council will not be changing any signs around the city for the name-change. The image with this story is the result of our own digital mischief.)
- The Aquarius Festival aimed to celebrate alternative thinking and sustainable lifestyles and was organised by the Australian Union of Students.
- The first festival was in Sydney in 1966, followed by Melbourne and Canberra, and the last was held in Nimbin in May, 1973.
- The 10-day Nimbin event attracted 5000 to 10,000 people and is often described as Australia's equivalent to the Woodstock Festival and the birthplace for Australia's hippie movement.