A celebration of ‘kustom kulture’, iconic local event Greazefest turns 15 this year and the founder Lori Lee Cash couldn’t be more proud.
Calling it a “celebration, not a competition”, Greazefest incorporates two stages of rockabilly bands, fashion parades, the Hot Rod show, markets, stalls, an art exhibition and a whole lotta dancing. “Dancing is a big part of the culture. Music is so important and also so is the fashion.”
Lori Lee is a longstanding rockabilly devotee. Back in the day, she was constantly having to travel interstate to see bands as no one was coming to Brisbane. It was a time before the internet and before YouTube, where people had to make their own clothes in the style they wanted. But now with Greazefest, Lori Lee has brought it all together in the one place.
“Hairdressers, barbers, tattooists are all on site during the festival and are one of the most popular aspects of the event. People come in looking one way and leave looking completely different. Everyone is invited to come in and have some fun – get a tatt, have your hair done, learn to dance, buy a new outfit.”
“Honestly, we have three barber chairs on the go for the entire event and the chairs are never empty. People love it because they know it’s authentic and the barbers really get it and understand the style of the culture.”
“What I love about it all is that people come along and they want to know how to be cool and how to get ‘that’ look. So that’s what I call it a lifestyle festival. It’s all on at the one time, in the one place and when you throw it all together, makes for a really interesting time.”
Before Greazefest existed, Lori Lee asked herself the question “If I had all the money in the world, what would I do?”, and she decide this is what she would do. She wanted to follow her passion before she was too old. She decided to bring something she loves to Brisbane and see if other people would love it too. It took seven years before Lori Lee was able to focus completely on Robot Productions.
When asked for five words to describe Greazefest, Cash decided on, “dazzling, exciting, rockabilly, unique and happy.” A collection of words that touches on the diversity and broad appeal of the festival and Lori Lee points out as well that the event spans generations – with grandparents coming with their grandkids and folk of all ages coming along from the very young to the more mature.
Lori Lee’s tips for having the best Greazefest experience?
“Get there early so you have the most time to enjoy the full experience and don’t miss out on anything. Don’t miss the fashion parades. These are definitely one of the festival highlights.
Get your hair done and/or do something different, experience something that you don’t get to in your everyday life. Wear a hat and your cowboy boots, as it’s usually a clear sunny day and you’ll be doing lots of walking and dancing.”
This will be the 15th annual GreazeFest running from August 1-3 at Rocklea Showgrounds.