Listen up zinemakers and aficionados: Festival of the Photocopier is back and bigger than ever at Melbourne Town Hall this weekend.

FOTP has grown to be a fixture in Australia’s zine community since its humble beginnings as a small event at the Sticky Institute in 2008. In 2018, the festival takes over Melbourne for a weekend of zine launches, parties, panels, tours and live music.

The weekend kicks off with the launch party tomorrow night at The Tote from 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday sees the launches of Queer Pals Zine, Incredibly Hot Sex With Hideous People and Pigeons of Japan, among many others. Stick around for the Queer Pals Zine Tour, running at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., at the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

Ever wanted a stickybeak into the zine collection at State Library Victoria? Don’t miss the tour running at 2 p.m. on Saturday – email downstairs@stickyinstitute.com to secure your place. Then, head down to the Yarra Hotel in Abbotsford for The Night Before The Zine Fair, featuring live music and guaranteed good times.

The festival itself, a massive zine fair with over 300 zinemakers selling their wares, is not to be missed. Melbourne Town Hall will be jam-packed, and no doubt smelling of toner and staples, from 12–5 p.m. on Sunday February 11. The event draws huge crowds of people each year with one thing in common: they’re hungry for independent, fresh-from-the-photocopier print media.

Stallholders include Squishface Studio, Helio Press and Refugee Art Project, among many other new and familiar faces. Don’t forget to eat a healthy breakfast to fuel the perusal of quality zines and bring plenty of cash, tote bags for quality zines and your enduring enthusiasm for zine culture. Just kidding: as if you’d forget that.

While you’re in town, catch Save Campbell Arcade, a short documentary by David Mahler and presented by Sticky Institute. The film dissects Metro Tunnel’s attempts to demolish parts of Campbell Arcade and the local community’s response. It premieres at 5 p.m. on February 13 at Loop Bar, followed by a panel.


Festival of The Photocopier runs from tomorrow, February 8 to 11, in venues across Melbourne. The full 2018 program can be viewed here.

Magenta Sheridan is Going Down Swinging’s news and features online editor.

Photo by Tatiana C C Scott