Q&A :: Astral People’s SANE Australia Fundraiser

June 27th 2012


Mental illness is no picnic – but if it was a picnic, and if it were held annually, roughly 3.2million Australians would attend and have an immensely shitty time. Rather than hosting a picnic, Astral People are putting on a gig at OAF – with 100% of funds going to SANE – a mental health initiative engaged in education and research that gives support to sufferers of mental illness and their loved ones.

Prepare for Guerre, Rainbow Chan, Albatross, Mrs Bishop, Elizabeth Rose, Ginger & The Ghost and Panama, plus DJ sets from Alison Wonderland, Future Classic, Discopunx, Mary’s Basement and, of course, the kindly Astral folk.

Ash Berdebes spoke to Vic Edirisinghe from Astral People about how this all came about:

Vic: Back in January we replaced Dro Carey’s ‘Journey With The Heavy’ Sydney show with a fundraiser for BeyondBlue, following his national tour cancellation due to his battle with depression. While we don’t like to dwell too much on the past, we’ve used this experience to motivate us to contribute to these sorts of organisations that do such a great job.

What makes mental illness an issue that’s so close to your collective hearts?

Some of our own artists that we manage suffer from mental health disorders. At Astral, from day one, we’ve always been set on a family-orientated mentality. Everything we do for Sydney and Australia, we do as a small family. When one of us struggles, we all struggle. When one of our artists succeeds, we all succeed. When one of us is down, we’ll all get behind that person to the best of our ability to support them in whatever capacity we can. This sense of ‘family’ is what keeps us as close as we are – always supporting one another and building on this vision we have at Astral as a unified collective.

Mental Health Disorders affect many young musicians out there. We got a true scope of this during our last fundraiser at Goodgod Small Club where many people that we haven’t met before were telling us about their stories of either dealing with or knowing someone close to them that suffers from mental illness. This alone has spurred us to do whatever we can when possible for these great organisations – to get young people talking about these sorts of issues is why we do this.

We love it when Sydney bands together like this for a just cause – often the business side of things dictates what we all do, so to be able to work together on a something as positive as this is a refreshing change.

Do any of the artists lined up have an interest in raising awareness about mental illness?

Yep, all of the artists we reached out to were more than happy to jump onboard for this cause. Some of them even had their own stories to share with us about their personal struggles with mental illness. A couple of acts even have other shows that night, but were still willing to help us out.

Why should the common man dig deep for mental illness?

Because the common man will probably know of someone that struggles with Mental Illness. Their donation could go a long way towards the education and rehabilitation to those struggling with these disorders. We trust they’ll give whatever they can afford to the cause and want to leave it in their hands.

Give us a sneaky hint about the surprise act?

Let’s just say his set will be what we’ve waited a long time to see and will be a very proud moment for us at Astral People.


What: SANE fundraiser
Guerre, Rainbow Chan, Albatross, Mrs Bishop, Panama, Ginger & The Ghost and Elizabeth Rose plus DJ sets from Alison Wonderland, Future Classic, Mary’s Basement, Discopunx and the Astral crew PLUS! a special guest.
Oxford Arts Factory
Friday 29 June, 8:00pm
How much:
How deep is your pocket? Sha la la laa…


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