This page of hand-written lyrics has significance as an example of the quirky songwriting technique of Adrian Cartwright and Rupert Keiller, whose songs were published by Festival Music. The Melbourne duo formed the core of Sonicanimation, an electronic dancefloor band that headlined a variety of large scale dance events. The video for Sonicanimation's second single 'Theophilus Thistler .. An Exercise In Vowels' featured two big furry creatures called Theo and Robbie. Theo (Theophilus Thistler) and Robbie (Robert Roley) became Sonicanimation's mascots. They appeared on stage, became the subject of a comic strip on a fan's website and were turned into merchandise as soft toys.
In 1969 the owners of Festival Records established the music publishing company Festival Music, headed initially by Phil Matthews and later by Peter Hebbes. It published local songwriters like Richard Clapton and gained the Australian licensing rights to many overseas publishers. It has represented key Australian songwriters including Tim Rogers (You Am I), Powderfinger, Josh Abrahams, 28 Days, Gerling, sonicanimation and Tex Perkins.
As an Australian record company, Festival Records was for over 50 years a significant force in the music recording industry. It financed, recorded, manufactured, promoted, marketed, distributed and published a huge range of local and overseas music, from classical to popular, under an equally vast number of labels. Although a major record company, it was independent of the five multinational companies that dominated the industry worldwide.
Festival Records provided a home to a vast array of musical styles and many independent labels, not readily identified with the Festival brand. For over fifty years its existence as a major independent record company, competing with the multinationals, helped to create a healthy environment for Australian music.