Making noise for marriage equality

Australia is among the last Western democracies to hold out on same-sex marriage rights.

Our federal government is deadlocked over the issue and in typical spineless fashion, parliament elected to take the issue to a postal vote, beginning in September 2017.

But here’s the thing: kids don’t check the mail, or send it anymore. We knew the entire system was rigged against the young (18–30), who were statistically the most likely to vote Yes.

We were aware of the very real possibility of this going the way of Trump and Brexit. We realised the need to break through social media echo chambers and put equality front and centre.

Enter YesFest; modelled on LiveAid and more recently, the Manchester One Love benefit.

It was to be a huge concert, streamed and broadcast around Australia and the world, using entertainment as a vehicle to unite generations. We had a pretty sweet launch video, too:

We pulled together some our biggest artists, bands and DJs, as they banded together for this fundamental human right.

Yesfest was about engaging the youth, but also uniting the country in support of an issue that should have been put to bed years ago. We went large, reaching out to some of our biggest stars. Many of them jumped on board.

An early pitch deck for Yesfest, sent to West Australian pop powerhouse, Troye Sivan.

And though, for reasons out of our control, we weren’t able to bring the festival to fruition, we put the Yes campaign back in the news and on the national radar at a time when confidence and spirit in the 6 week voting period was flagging.

You can read a full rundown of what went down in the article below. Turns out running a festival is precisely as hard as everyone says it is.

It was the single most rewarding and exhausting period of my life.

I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

The amazing A-Team:

Client: The Equality Campaign
Agency: M&C Saatchi Group
Executive Creative Director: Michael Canning
Creative Directors/Executive Producers: Jonathan Seidler, Curt McDonald, Chris Brailey
Executive Producer: Taylor Thompson
Business Director: Prue Purnell
Design: John-Henry Pajak, Chi Yusuf
RE Agency: Colin Cornwall, Floriane Jambu
Art Direction: Vanessa Robinson, Neil Walshe, Rodrigo Soares 
Copywriting: Chris Ching, Mick Harris, Luke Simkins, Rodrigo Cunha

Executive Digital Producer: Gemma Heyes
Technical Lead: Ben Patterson
Software Engineer: Ticia Andrade

PR: Kirilly Mallard, Sophie Callaghan, Alex Pugliese, Sophie Walton
Comms Manager: Naomi Rhienberger

Social: Mandi Bateson, Lara Munn, Hayden Wright
Account Service: Rachael Strobridge
TV Production: Sophia Tubby

The Special Group: Cade Heyde, Gareth Pask

Event Producer: Tim Freeland (Our Friends Electric)
Tech Producer: Nic Macfie
Artist Management: Adrian Gidaro
Musical Director: Joel Farland