All The Best FBi

This Saturday Campfire Collective featured on FBi’s stories of Sydney program, All The Best. When FBi were putting together this week’s show all about Failure, they asked us to trawl the annals of our live show Storytelling, which features real people telling true stories of their own lives; surely, there had to be a story of an epic fail in there somewhere. So we tracked down Jack Tsonis, an old friend from Mac Uni who was one of our very earliest storytellers with a beautiful tale of a huge fail he had while working at a Telstra store.

Jack made a joke about a customer which went all the way to the desk of the CEO. This truly basic (but funny) joke became Telstra history; Jack later found out it was brought up on high level conference calls, and more. Jack recorded the story with FBi’s Jesse Cox on Friday for this week’s show and you can hear the whole thing here! Hey, if you like hearing stories there’s nothing quite like seeing someone tell you the whole thing in person – if you want to catch one of our live Storytelling shows with more great true stories, you can do so for only $10 next month at Imperial Panda Festival. More info.




*we do not suggest using pandas in this way. we do suggest visiting Imperial Panda Festival.

Campfire Collective is thrilled, awed, and a lot excited to be a part of Imperial Panda Festival 2011. We’ll be presenting Storytelling, our show of real people telling true stories of their own lives, which changes every time it hits the stage with a new swathe of tellers, and we’re locking in some pretty awesome guests with some pretty great true stories which they’ll share with you.

We’ve been talking with Rosie Fisher and Eddie Sharp, two of the powers that be at Imperial Panda (alongside co-directors Mish Grigor and Zoe Coombs Marr) and there sounds like being some really great stuff again this year including some excellent themed cocktail nights at Good God Small Bar which will serve as a HQ and box office for the festival which runs across a whole range of artist run venues.

In the early bit of each of the last few years Panda has really set the mark for the coming year with a delicately curated performance festival. The post Sydney Festival buzz of a city alive with performance is amplified at Panda where there’s always fast talk about fast moving tickets and sell out shows and epic performances to nuanced performances. It’s featured the likes of Pig Island who are Charlie Garber, Nick Coyle and Claudia O’Doherty all of whom are independently and collectively responsible for great things (We saw Claudia’s solo show twice this year once in Melbourne and again in Edinburgh we liked it so much); Zoe Coombs Marr, Brown Council, Post, Suitcase Royale, to name just a few. So we’re thrilled to be presenting alongside some great people, and grateful to the visionary directors Rosie Fisher, Mish Grigor, Eddie Sharp and Zoe Coombs Marr. I just read somewhere that someone should have erected a statue in a park somewhere to Rosie Fisher as one of the most important figures in experimental theatre in Sydney. Nice one, Rosie!

Details are still emerging but Storytelling at Imperial Panda will be on March 15 at Helen Rose Schausberger Laboratorium, and tickets will be around $15 and available from the venue on the night only and from 7pm at Good God Small Bar on Liverpool St, City.

The Imperial Panda website at is not yet live with the full program, but in the meantime check out some of the history at




Happy New Year world wide web. Although it is January 14 already, we haven’t seen you or spoken with you since last year. We’ve been busy in the early days of January working on the hectic but great Sydney Festival First Night which happened last Saturday, so we’re now finally getting around to giving you an update on our New Years Eve weekend at Peats Ridge Festival where Campfire Collective presented Campfire Comedy shows, and a once off Campfire Stories storytelling show.

Campfire Comedy took Sydney’s best alternative comedians, packed them up in a red polka dot rucksack and delivered them direct to the stage of the Boudoir De La Fox theatre tent at Peats Ridge Festival 2010. We were thrilled to go camping with the Campfire Comedy troupe of Nick Capper, Jennifer Carnovale and Madeleine Culp (aka The Cloud Girls), Eric Hutton, Shane Matheson, and Ryan Withers, who threw out smash hit show after smash hit show, with four shows across the weekend, two of those as the official entertainment of the Green Fairy Absinth Hour, plus hosting for a few ‘cool’ bands on the Underworld stage.

The morning of Festival Day 2 Campfire Stories took to the stage of Lolo Gypsy Caravan in the Wonderland garden. Despite nearly forty degree heat before midday, a solid crowd turned out to hear real people tell true stories of their own lives. Michael Cullen told of morbid curiosity and a dead pet cat, Gareth Boylan shared a story of a fugitive Ram, and Shane Matheson told us about carrying a pet rock around for a decade as a dare. Special musical guest Cody Dillon shared songs and stories from his recent adventure in the American heartland, and Nick Capper was our perfect MC.

To close the festival, we had a few drinks, a boogie, and went back to tents at various hours of the morning, probably all thinking the same thing, what will 2011 hold?

Well, for me it held waking up to the sound of faint cries for help from the bushes, and the discovery that a blow up doll had inexplicably arrived in our camp. In a tired state, a few nearby campers had the following conversation.

Camper 1: Did you hear someone calling for help? Camper 2: Sort of, but it didn’t sound that desperate (joking) if he did need help he couldn’t be that injured. Camper 1: Yeah (not joking), sounds like a recently broken ankle.

So, I went for a venture up into the bushes, threw out a cooooooooe or two but all I saw was a human poo and a woman with a sarong peeing standing up (she kind of used the sarong like a shower curtain).

A few minutes after I returned we heard that a man had broken his ankle in the bush. His friends had sought help and a helicopter was on its way in to evacuate him. Our campsite had become the landing zone, and we’d all seen enough Vietnam films to know that it gets real windy, so we all packed up camp in a hurry, and left, saying goodbye to 2010, and goodbye Peats Ridge Festival.

We have hours and hours of video tape gold in the can, and will have some footage of our Peats Ridge Festival 2010 for you soon. For now, here are some pics!





Welcome to the Campfire Collective blog.

We are based in Newtown, Sydney. We’re for all the things that can be shared around the real and proverbial campfire – music, stories, laughter, conversation and ideas.

We love arts, live music, live comedy, photography, street art, good food, great books, design, and live performance.

You’ll find us at festivals, events, happenings, parties, markets, restaurants and cafes, here and abroad.

Visit our website for upcoming shows or follow us here.