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Beer can hat

Date: 1974
Medium: Aluminium
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Lutz Frankenfeld
Object Name: Hat
Object No: 00045969

User Terms

    This is one of two beer-can hats in the Museum's collection made by Lutz Frankenfeld, the founder of the first Beer Can Regatta in Darwin in 1974. To make this hat, Frankenfeld used XXXX Gold beer cans, and used Victoria Bitter beer cans to make the other - reflecting the Australian colours of green and gold.
    SignificanceThis akubra style hat made from beer cans reflects the image of the Australian larrikin and documents the development of a uniquely Australian event - the Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta.
    HistoryThe Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta is a major tourist attraction in the Northern Territory. Each year crowds gather to cheer as the most outrageous and ingenious boats made from aluminium cans sink or swim in Darwin Harbour.

    The regatta was developed by Lutz Frankenfeld of the Darwin Regional Tourist Promotion Association, and was first held on 16 June 1974 at Vestey's Beach in Darwin. The aim was 'to put Darwin on the tourist map' and to help clean up the litter of cans through the city. The regatta drew a crowd of between 15 and 20,000 people - the equivalent of half the population of Darwin at the time. Despite pessimism surrounding the idea of an annual regatta, in 1975 the novelty event was another success and it continued to attract worldwide attention over the next decades. In the late 1970s, the Combined Lions Clubs of Darwin became the organising body for the regatta, and the annual event began raising funds for various charities.

    In the 1990s Darwin civic leaders, keen to reinvent the city's image from a hard-drinking tourist haven, renamed the regatta 'On the Beach'. All vessels are made and raced according to strict rules. The event is promoted and sponsored by local business and community groups, from Apex to the Armed Forces, and from schools to supermarkets. The Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta continues to be held annually at Mindil Beach, Darwin.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Beer can hat

    Assigned title: Beer can hat from the Darwin regatta

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