history of confest



And for more info on the guy that founded the festival, check


for the good oil on confest check out 'not for profit', tribute web site at:

Info about it at:

A Chronology of known ConFests held in Australia (NB the Sydney ConFests are not in this)


 DOWN TO EARTH – A Shaping Of Alternatives – The Cotter A.C.T. December 10 – 14, 1976

The purpose of the festival is to show the urgent need to SHAPE ALTERNATIVES NOW.
Ways must be found because of the violent, acquisitive, alienated, industrial society which now poses a threat to survival. People have for centuries searched for equality and the right and ability to determine their own development. Individuals must accept responsibility for themselves. Personal happiness and equality, as much as a good society, depend upon self realisation. The most vital factor today is a sense of true identity. This is lost because our identities are created by others - not by ourselves. The all-powerful externally created hegemony in this assumed-to-be-free society, and its internalised personal alienation, must be understood if self realisation can be achieved.

The starting point must be the "will to be the self which one truly is".

There must be equality and effective individual participation in government and in every other group activity if self realisation is to be achieved.

The festival will be concerned with the search for the true nature of man and woman.

For many centuries the belief that man is inherently bad has exercised tremendous influence. Because of this belief, individual needs are suppressed and the result is that personal helplessness, lack of independence and the desire to be led are created. From infancy on people are trained to be self-denying, falsely modest, self-effacing and mechanically obedient. They are taught to suppress or hide their natural feelings and energy.

Social ideology is governed by contradictory altruism, by guilt and by the inability to experience work and action as a pleasure. This results in tendencies towards violence. But it is not the basic natural need of people that has a destructive and hedonistic outcome - it is the result of the repression of basic natural need that is violent and destructive.

The internal social crisis of today that results from these contradictions means that we must SHAPE THE ALTERNATIVES NOW.
There is not just one alternative. The new society will be made up of the choices of multitudes of people - individuals and groups - who are determined to find a way out.
No one can be excluded.