Weekend of 2nd & 3rd of April, 2016
Brisbane, Australia


A Rock & Roll Writers Festival celebrates the creative relationship between writing and music. Fans of music and writing get up close and personal with the creators of stories and songs.

The festival will  surprise, entertain, enlighten and challenge - through discussions and interviews with some of Australia’s finest authors, songwriters, lyricists and commentators.

We love bands that incorporate literary concepts and references into their songs, as much as we love books that include references to music to enhance the experience for the reader.

We are fans of great writing and great songs. Words and music that make you cry, laugh, gasp, shout and above anything else feel.

"Music is the shorthand of emotion"  Leo Tolstoy

The idea is to curate a unique weekend-long event that initiates discussion of how music and literature influence each other, by bringing together leading authors, musicians and artists in a program of interviews, presentations, talks and panel discussions.

Naturally we’re hosting the event at a music venue, which will offer great food and refreshments as well as the opportunity to purchase both the books and music of our presenters and speakers.

Early bird tickets are now SOLD OUT!


Program: The festival takes place in Brisbane over the weekend of the 2nd & 3rd of April, 2016.

The location will be The Brightside, a rock venue that boasts a comfortable beer garden and a large open-air carpark. Events will be held both in the venue, and under a large marquee in the carpark.

There will be a mix of panel discussions and author/songwriter interviews, and we’ll be making sure there is plenty of opportunity for audience questions.

The full program of events is now available to view and download here

Writers & Speakers

Our full complement of speakers, presenters, interviewees and guests has now been announced.
See them here.

Want to talk to us about 2017?

Contact Festival Director Leanne de Souza here.

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent.” Victor Hugo

About us

The leadership team of the first ever Rock And Roll Writers Festival is Leanne de Souza and Joe Woolley.

Leanne de Souza

In July 1992, with $20 in the bank and a gut load of energy, passion, determination, sheer bloody-mindedness, naiveté, and a whole lot of heart, Leanne de Souza started her first music business in Brisbane, Australia. Twenty-three years later, she let it all go – choosing to take long-service leave from a lengthy, self-employed tenure as an artist manager.

Working in artist management from 1997 – 2015 Leanne represented several high profile artists including: Thelma Plum, The Medics, The Painted Ladies, Liam Gerner, Kate Miller-Heidke, Stringmansassy, george, Katie Noonan, Misinterprotato, Transport and Miles From Nowhere.

Leanne is also a foundation board member of the Queensland Music Network Q MUSIC and a previous Executive Programmer of BIGSOUND (2006), an experienced workshop facilitator for the boutique consultancy Fieldworx and previously lectured in music business at Griffith University, TAFE and JMC Academy.

Currently pursuing new horizons and activities including directing her first festival, tertiary study, public speaking, board positions, flying lessons and regular time on the yoga mat and listening to bucketloads of sad country songs and optimistic sunny indie pop anthems.

Joe Woolley

As Neil Finn once said, “better to jump than hesitate”. Having grown up obsessed with music, it was inevitable that Joe would ignore good advice and end up getting involved by managing Brisbane bands including Shutterspeed, Grand Atlantic, WE ALL WANT TO and Screamfeeder, running a record label, touring around Australia and overseas, creating a small but perfectly-formed touring festival, and generally misbehaving.

Having been enlisted as a band manager when Nirvana’s success was reinventing the way the music industry operated, Joe has enjoyed a front-row view of the Australian scene for nearly 25 years now. He remembers more than half of it.

Joe has never been asked to be on a board, or lecture, or even provide advice except at 5 o’clock in the morning after a long night out.  Let’s be honest, that’s probably not going to change.

Limited Tickets Still Available!

Mailing List

On Twitter

Brightside Brisbaneoztix-logo-rgb-pos-blackoztix-logo-rgb-pos-blackQld Writers CentreSonic SherpaTryp HotelNightlife MusicOdyssey Coffee
Brown Dog4ZZZMonkey ShoulderChurch RoadStoneleighDeutzAvid Reader