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September 7, 2023

Whatever happened to… Rip it Up?

CityMag’s co-founder and creative director at kwpx, Josh Fanning wonders what happened to the way things were.

  • Words: Josh Fanning
  • Photo: from now defunct Rip It Up website

Whatever happened to Rip it Up… the iconic street press?

Whatever happened to The Adelaide Review?

Whatever happened to the Spanish millionaire who bought those titles, was going to take down Rupert Murdoch, and is currently using the Adelaide Review’s website to circumvent Spanish electoral laws by publishing polling data in “Australia”?

I don’t know. But things have changed.

Someone was bemoaning the loss of The Adelaide Review to me recently.

“Such a shame,” they said. “Why did they stop?” they asked (rhetorically).

I nodded.

I shrugged.

I didn’t bother to expand on one of my favourite subjects: How absolutely knackered the media’s business model is. People’s eyes tend to glaze.

When The Note launched at some stage (🤷‍♀️) this year, I was bemused.

Déjà vu.

And while The Note may not be anything revolutionary, it did make me feel warm and fuzzy.

The familiarity of the format and the subject matter. The frequency of publication. Even the distribution and the state of the magazine’s disrepair over the month as it soaks up beer on the front bars of the Exeter, Cranker and Grace Emily Hotel (the holy trinity) made me feel like everything was well in the state of Adelaide.


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I don’t know when Margie Budich launched Rip it Up. But I should. And I’m incredibly grateful she did.

Without knowing or acknowledging (until now) I was following in her footsteps publishing (first) Merge, (then) Collect, and (finally) CityMag.

Rip it Up and her suite of mastheads (Attitude, and Onion) helped Adelaide find themselves in obscure venues listening to emerging, established, experimental, and definitely terrible musicians.

Rob Dunstan’s column was iconic. So was his presence at those venues.

Charlotte Chambers may have sold ads for Attitude (the fashion magazine in the RIU stable) but she was also the boss of that title and the boss of a very real scene around fashion in the city. Her iconic events at the Art Gallery of South Australia (A Night of Fashion) supported and elevated the Director’s (Nick Mitzevich) mission to embed fashion and design as an integral component of AGSA’s collection. Charlotte is a part of that story as well as an author.

Charlotte now runs Kiddo Mag and other publications with a very specific target market.

Charlotte is still very much the boss.

Meanwhile, Adelaide Review alumni Walter Marsh just published a book. A real one (not a thesis), about Rupert Murdoch, fulfilling his former publisher’s (Javier Moll) desire to tackle the Murdoch empire.

Walter’s book is selling well. You should buy a copy.

So many publications have come and gone in the 10 years CityMag has been part of the city. Many have breathed life into the city. Many have supported artists, writers, musicians, and small business to reach the next level and to thrive. But those publications have also failed. And ceased publishing. And vanished overnight after telling Adelaide’s story for decades.

Great cities are not built by commerce, invention and art alone.

Great cities are built by storytellers who weave the city’s disparate narrative together into a cohesive and powerful arc of ascendancy and destiny manifest. Well, that’s what New York and Paris do.

Great cities are made up of many different stories but only one—great—story. That one story requires great storytellers.

BTW: I’m telling you to subscribe to and support Solstice Media.


The 10th-anniversary print edition of CityMag hits the streets next week. Check here to find it in your local.

Solstice Media is the publisher of CityMag, InDaily, SALIFE and InReview.

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