Richard Petkovic – Worlds Collide
When we heard about a festival that is to be held on a car park roof, eight storeys above Parramatta straight away we wanted to know more! Artistic director Richard Petkovic is the man behind the Sydney Sacred Music Festival, a festival happening over multiple venues across Sydney from September 2nd-18th with one of the mayor highlights being the Worlds Collide concert on Saturday September 3rd, which has performers from seven different cultures performing as one. The performers combine dance beats with soaring vocals and hip-hop rhymes resulting in a multi-cultural fusion of sounds not heard before. There will also be video instillations, dancers and food set in an unlikely location eight storeys off the ground, get ready to experience music in a whole new way.
Richard grew up in the west and it’s his experiences growing up here that have led to his passion of creating new sounds using the best of the rich diversity of cultures that we find in our suburbs, he happily answered our questions and let us in on what to expect as Worlds Collide.
The Westies – Before we dive into Worlds Collide, tell me a bit about your background?
Richard – I grew up in western Sydney and after hearing Bon Jovi, I decided I wanted to do music!! I had no idea where I was going but I knew I had to try.
The Westies – What was growing up in the Western Suburbs like for you?
Richard – It was a place to experiment in life! Being first generation Australian and not feeling part of the Anglo Celtic culture was a strong theme in my life, lucky I found my love for cricket and that allowed me to find a way into the culture. I never felt supported by anything or anyone, so it led me to become very self-sufficient emotionally! Which has gone on to help me as an independent artist trying to make his own way and art.
The Westies – What good things have the Western suburbs given you?
Resilience and a love of the underdog!
The Westies – When did music come into the picture for you?
Richard – I started miming to the Beatles songs during my HSC trials, with my friends we all loved the Beatles and pretended to be them in our friends backyard….we would listen to Hey Jude thousands of times.
The Westies – Did you study music?
Richard – No. I just started playing in rock bands, I had no skills but a desire to ROCK! I wanted to perform and throw my energy out there on stage!
The Westies – When did you decide to do music full time and why?
Richard – My creative life has been full time since 2007, I got a Western Sydney Arts Fellowship and that was my cue to head out and go for my vision of creating world music and cultural events.
The Westies – What is world music?
Richard – World music is everything! But I’m interested in creating music that represents Australian culture right now, not American music but music that comes from the influences we have in our communities right now. I’m interested in making music that can change your inner chemistry!
The Westies – You have mentioned faith it important, what does faith mean to you?
Richard – Faith for me comes from experience. When you live your life by our own intuition you are going against the current of society. So, you try and fail, and your try and have success, and from these experiences and your own personal work to improve your understanding of life and your fine tuning of your course manifestations and your ego, you learn and you have faith you are on your path!
The Westies – Can you tell me a bit about Sydney Sacred Music Festival?
Richard – The Festival is an idea I had 6 years ago to showcase the positive side of multiculturalism, to showcase the hidden treasures in our communities. It is also about showcasing what is possible with new music that includes us all. The Sydney World Music Chamber Orchestra is a great example of this, 11 different cultures in one ensemble creating new work and showing a new way for classical music in Australia. Worlds Collide is my attack on contemporary music, fusing hip-hop, EDM and our cultures in the suburbs
The Westies – What can we expect at World Collide?
Richard – A wonderland of contemporary art, music, food and dance all on an amazing location, eight storeys high on Wentworth St Car park! You will not find a better collection of artist/musicians all coming together to celebrate life and our connections between each other!
The music will get you grooving and will showcase 12 new original songs, supported by several dance performers from different cultures. all surrounded by thought provoking projections, with great food and great people who appreciate culture and art!
The Westies – The venue is pretty epic! How did you come to put a festival on, on top of an 8 story car park?
I just had the vision to do something that would inspire us all, seeing our City from up high changes your perspective and that’s what the Festival and Worlds Collide is about. Changing the perspective of the mainstream to celebrate, include and to see the sacred in everything!
Saturday September 3rd, 7pm
Roof top, Wentworth Street Car park, Parramatta
Tickets available here.
Interview: Katrina James
Photos: Katrina James