In Conversation With @ShitAdelaide

The infamously anonymous Instagram account gives us their first ever interview.

Photography Eric Brumfield
Styling & Direction Chris Kontos
Models Ben from Bent Agency and Atim Okot from Azalea Models

Q How did Shit Adelaide begin? 
A Shit Adelaide was started by accident in late November 2015.
 
We, the four original members, are long-time friends who were meeting for brunch on Rundle Street on a Sunday morning. We complained about how the once bustling street had become a collection of ‘for lease signs’. We noted how difficult it had become to find a park and how our once easily navigated city had become a debacle of bus lanes, clearways, endless roadworks, burst water-mains and no right turns. 
 
We looked at our meals and coffees and decided they only vaguely resembled the heavily photo-shopped images that we were used to seeing on social media. We were sitting on uncomfortable crates. In the distance, we could hear workers begin their annual project of erecting and dismantling the ‘temporary’ grandstands for the Clipsal 500. 
 
Adelaide is the greatest city in the world, but some days it can suck. 
 
Social media can be misleading. We wondered whether there was room for a brutally realistic social media page which told it like it is, including the good stuff, the bad stuff, and the weird stuff. Without the filters.
 
We decided on the name @ShitAdelaide, set up an Instagram page there and then. We started taking photos around town, beginning with a poster for an upcoming Chunky Custard concert at one of those non-descript hotels that you’d expect to host Aunt Berryl’s 80th birthday celebrations.

Q Did you ever think Shit Adelaide would become such a voice for South Australians? 

A Never. It was entirely by accident. At first, it was just an account to amuse ourselves, but, as the popularity grew, we started to receive submissions from the public, and it soon became a forum for people to share their quirky observations around town, with a healthy dose of nostalgia and South Aussie parochialism thrown in. Thankfully, we kept it locked down anonymously, which means we can make it about the content and not about the individuals behind the scenes. 

Q What’s the most common thing sent to you on Shit Adelaide?  

A It is usually badly parked cars or people otherwise behaving anti-socially, like resting bare feet next to a stranger on a bus seat. We also get lots of mildly offensive number plates. For example, there are two cars which are routinely parked on Cross Road at Glandore with the number plates GSPOT1 and GSPOT2 which belong to the owners of an adult bookstore. We receive at least 10 photos of these cars each day with the caption “I found it”. 

Q How do you select what you post about?  

A We try to post an eclectic mix of nostalgia, current events or just curious images and videos. We just post things that we either find funny or interesting. It’s quite innocuous.  
 
There isn’t a template that we follow, but we strictly don’t allow anything that is defamatory or vilifies a particular individual or group. We specifically don’t post anything where we suspect that mental health issues are affecting behaviours. We take a common-sense approach and endeavour to punch up rather than punch down.
 
We most enjoy making montage of weekly video highlights packages. In isolation, some of these videos aren’t particularly funny, but when you string them together they can be hilarious and eye-opening as to how much can happy in Little Ol’ Adelaide on any given week.

Q Where do you like to hang out on weekends? 

A South Australia has beautiful weather and so many hidden treasures that you can literally spend every weekend doing something different. Favourite spots include Tea Tree Plaza, the Port Wharf Markets, lining up at Argo on the Parade, lining up at that that new gelato place at Henley Beach, and not having to line up at the iconic Boulevard Lounge at the Wallis Cinemas at Mitcham.

Q Have you got any celebrity fans? 

A We are often surprised by some of the high-profile celebrities that follow ShitAdelaide. Not wanting to name drop, but, the list includes: Hugh Sheridan, Chris Kontos, Rebecca Morse, Hans, Eddie Betts, Yvie and Angie from Gogglebox and we suspect that former President Obama also follows from an anonymous burner account. 

Q How’s the merch going? 

A The merchandise we have released has been really well received. We try and keep things affordable and we look forward to continuing to bring out more fun merchandise over the next few years.

We have been arguing for years that South Australia should revert back to using the ‘SA Great’ iconic logo from the 80s and 90s, and we are proud to have resurrected it through stickers, keyrings and pins. By bringing back the long-discarded logo, we are able to utilise the state colours, and hark back to nostalgic times when Adelaide really was the pace setter of Australian cities, both socially and economically. SA is great, and at one time we sang it loud and proud (until the State Bank disaster and the almost three decades of incompetent governance that have dulled our sense of optimism). 
 
We have just released the third edition of our annual Just Adelaide Things calendar, which is our tribute to the childhood memories of growing up and living in Adelaide. 

Q What’s your favourite shit thing about Adelaide? 

A The best shit thing about Adelaide is that EVERYONE knowns EVERYONE. It really is a city of villages. It means you can’t wear spaghetti stained pyjamas to the servo, because you can and will bump into your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, who will be looking great. 

Regardless of whether you’re at Elizabeth, or Goolwa, or Modbury or West Beach, you will always bump into someone you know. In fact, it would be a brave and very stupid person who tried to have an extra-marital affair in Adelaide and expected to get away with it. 

Q Who are you? 

A We are the self-appointed Custodians of South Australian Greatness.