Bingefest and Chill at the Sydney Opera House

Tracky dacks? Permitted. Shia LaBeouf? Present. Moderation? No siree. This was Bingefest – a celebration of all things best consumed in bulk, of Sundays lost to entire TV series, of couches indented by stay-put behinds, and the time sucking abilities of cat videos on YouTube.

For 24 hours, the Sydney Opera House transformed itself into the ultimate binge-worthy venue, decking out the Joan Sutherland foyers with an all-hours convenience store and plush lounge complete with comfy beds and free video games. All I needed was my PJs and it would’ve felt like I was at home… well, you know, if my home had million dollar harbour views and much nicer furniture.

After a snack, a little kip, and an admittedly poor attempt at playing Street Fighter, it was time to meet some of the best names in the business of consumable content.

My picks for the day were Julie Snyder, the creator of podcast phenomenon Serial, and The Writers’ Room, where TV land demigods Dan Harmon, Josh Thomas, Celia Pacquola, and Luke McGregor bantered insightfully about the creative process.

Julie (I like to pretend we’re on a first name basis) spoke in depth about series one of Serial, playing snippets of never-before-heard clips and sharing production details which were incredibly amusing in light of the podcast’s success.

My personal favourite was the fact that the voice of Serial, Sarah Koenig, had to pause recording in her studio – a.k.a. basement – every time one of her kids flushed the upstairs toilet. Yeah, it’s safe to say they weren’t expecting it to become one of the most successful podcasts in history.

The Writers’ Room was full of surprise disclosures, like the fact that Luke McGregor still lacks some fairly basic knowledge about sex (maybe he should extend Luke Warm Sex for a second season). We also learned: Josh Thomas has office-bound heterophobia, Dan Harmon is an avid feminist, and Celia Pacquola really really wants to make a series about haunted real estate.

The four panellists also provided candid insight into what it takes to get a TV series up and running, how things have changed in this era of accessible entertainment, and the problem of diversity. It was like informative comedy – fun while I was there and useful to unpack on the way home.

This year’s Bingefest was the first of its kind but, given we 21st century humans show no sign of reverting back to the days of enjoying things in moderation, here’s hoping it will be back next year.

Until then, rest assured that many of your favourite bingeables will be back in 2017 with their next instalments.

– Kirsty
Kirsty Fanton is a freelance copywriter with a strange and confusing fear of stick insects. She loves wine – especially when it comes with a side of cheese – and will do almost anything for ice cream.  

Catch the best of Bingefest on Red Bull TV from 21 December, 8.30pm. 

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Sydney Opera House.
Image credit: Prudence Upton and Jack Atley.