The Old Museum, Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills, Brisbane - April 1 & 2, 2017

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 festival is a a unique, weekend-long curated 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.

This year we’re hosting the event at Brisbane’s historic Old Museum, which will offer great food and refreshments as well as the opportunity to purchase both the books and music of our presenters and speakers.

Tickets are now on sale here

Program: The festival takes place in Brisbane over the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of April, 2017.

The location will be The Old Museum, a much-loved performance venue that boasts several large studio spaces . Panel events will be held in the studios, while access to the bar, catering, book store and music retail will be open to the public, free of charge.

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 will be released in February 2017.

Writers & Speakers

Speakers, panelists and presenters can be found here as they are announced

Want to talk to us about the festival?

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.

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