ON THE FRIDAY night after Bowie’s death, I found myself dancing on the streets of Sydney. Singing, smiling, celebrating his life and music with hundreds of strangers at an impromptu street-party in Newtown. I was there accidentally, on my way home from a belated New Year’s dinner, but Bowie’s ability to speak to the hearts of so many of us meant his passing called for a public outpouring, and we were drawn into the throng.
But 2016 wasn’t finished with us yet, and took too many of our musical greats. In this edition, Michael Epis (p14) pays tribute to the many legends lost, including Prince and Leonard Cohen.
The year’s end always prompts reflection on the good (Katherine Smyrk, p10), the bad (Andrew Weldon, p9) and the sometimes-lovely realities of life (Lorin Clarke, p43). What do you remember most about 2016? You can test your memory with our annual Big Quiz (p18) of quirky, useless and fun facts.
Closer to home, 2016 has been a year of ch-ch-changes. (Apologies!) We said goodbye to long-time editor Alan Attwood (he’s back on p22), and I joined The Big Issue family. In this issue, we bid farewell (and a huge thanks) to music editor Doug Wallen after six years; and welcome Sarah Smith into the fold.
This year also saw The Big Issue celebrate our 20th anniversary in Australia. And, in an era when print is as endangered as the black rhino, we saw an increase in circulation, meaning continued income and support for the men and women who sell our magazine. Here’s to a Happy New Year!
This article first appeared in issue Ed#527 of The Big Issue
Amy Hetherington, Editor