Original Bellbottom

We couldn’t celebrate our anniversary without catching up with Maggie Quirk, the brilliant human being who dreamed up this brilliant publication 10 years ago…

Tell us how you came to Bellingen and started Bellbottom Magazine?
MQ: I moved to Bello in my 20s after studying Journalism and traveling the world. I started out by working in a few local cafes which all had gig posters plastering the walls and windows (a bit of a mind boggle to look at!). This is actually what sparked the idea for Bellbottom media – I thought the town needed a comprehensive gig guide which pulled all of these amazing events into one listing. Originally I was just going to do a single page gig guide and then thought I could put my degree to use and make it into an full publication.

Bellingen has changed a fair bit over the past 10 years. What are some fond memories of your time running Bellbottom?
MQ: Yes it has! When I moved to Bello there were only a handful of us in our 20s and there were a lot less young families than there are now. I didn’t have a car but I think parking was a breeze compared to now! I have a lot of fond memories from then, I really love Bello and I really love the arts and I got to talk and write about these things daily! I went to so many amazing gigs as a reviewer – Archie Roach at the Mem Hall was a great moment. And I brought Perch Creek to No. 5 Church St for bellbottom’s first birthday. That gig was awesome and their first time ever playing in Bello too.

What have you been up to since passing the Bellbottom torch?
MQ: Well I’m married with two kids now! After Bellbottom I went into a full time media job in Coffs Harbour for a few years before our youngest was born. And then we bought a great local business from a lovely Bello couple called Deva Cacao (organic raw chocolate). So I am now a full time chocolatier and really loving that too – it’s creative and I get to eat amazing quality chocolate every day (also one of my favourite things, up there with talking about music). This year we launched a whole new range of certified compostable packaging designed by a brilliant Coffs Harbour Designer, Alyson Pearson, and we have just taken out an Award in the international Good Design Awards. So while this year has been tough it has also been really rewarding.