Andy Griffiths climbed down from his treehouse, to enthral the young, the old and the in-between, at the Williamstown Lit Festival. Once he had descended, his journey was brief – being a local has its advantages – for him and for the festival.
Andy was literally everywhere: a 10.30am Saturday session with Marcus Zusak; he was involved in the Stereo Stories on Saturday night, then took a squillion kids on a Treehouse tour, on Sunday morning. He was even spotted attending the Are You Ready to Be Strong? – Exploring Buffy as a Feminist Icon session, at 2pm on Sunday.
Beyond the Bestseller: Markus Zusak and Andy Griffiths was one of the first sessions for the 2017 festival. Markus is the author of 2005’s The Book Thief, a novel set in Germany during World War 2 and described as a “literary phenomenon.” Andy’s Bumeggedon: The Final Conflict was also released in 2005 – the year of release is pretty much the only commonality with Markus’ book.
Stereo Stories in Concert is one of the highlights of the festival – a unique combination of live music and memoir, hosted and directed by local writer, Vin Maskell. It was an amazing night, which saw the audience shed tears and then laugh with gusto. Andy was responsible for the laughing bit.
He told the story of his short-lived Year 8 rock and roll band, that he and his mate planned to the nth degree. It included the writing of Rock and Roll Institute, a song which Andy performed with the power and passion of a rock and roll legend, much to the delight of the packed hall.
Hundreds of adoring adults, or hundreds of adoring kids – it made little difference to Andy; he gave his all to both! The kids loved him on Sunday morning at 10.30am, just as much as the grownups did the night before. The most rewarding sight of the festival, was seeing young children engrossed in their books, while sitting cross-legged on the floor of the town hall, waiting for Andy to take them on a magical tour of his Treehouse.
Not only did he mesmerize the kids during the session, he stayed and signed books, smiled for the camera, and spoke to every one of the children who had stood patiently waiting for him.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but Andy is worth so very much more, because he gets the kids reading those words.