While Melbourne is often thought of as Australia’s music capital, many of Australia’s best bands originated 70 kilometres south west, in the city of Geelong. So in April, Wikimedia Australia held an edit-a-thon at Geelong Library & Heritage Centre to create and expand Wikipedia pages about Geelong’s musicians.
The event was held as part of Surround Sounds, a new local arts festival in Geelong, and was supported by The Australian Music Vault and the Geelong Library & Heritage Centre.
Wikimedia Australia's James Gaunt and Alex Lum supported nearly a dozen participants to get acquainted with the ins and outs of editing Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons.
Participants came from a variety of backgrounds, including musicians, radio presenters, authors, and journalists, as well as music fans and collectors. Many said they had always wanted to know how to edit and add pages to Wikipedia, with ambitions to work together to collect local regional knowledge to be added to Wikipedia in the months to come.
Each of the events has had a special guest, and in Geelong Maree Robertson joined us to talk about her new book Bored! This Was Geelong and discuss her passion for writing about Geelong’s music history. At the end of our edit-a-thon we also joined Maree at a local gallery where photographs from her book were being exhibited.
With one remaining edit-a-thon focused on First Nations artists, the project has generated widespread interest from across the music industry in Australia. Whether its music organisations, festivals, or fans, there has been a massive outpouring of support around the idea of getting more Australian music content online.