As Tate St Ives festival SWITCH is fast approaching, our progress at the Circuit Festival Lab has certainly switched up a gear. From entering this process months ago, I don’t think any of us had any idea of how much planning it takes to create a festival, in what feels like very little time.
In the first few Festival Labs, it took a while to get the ball rolling because we were generating lots of ideas but it was challenging to collaboratively decide on which ideas we wanted to run with. As a starting point, we picked out key values which we wanted our festival to reflect, such as accessibility. Although it is a festival aimed at 15-25 year olds, we want people of all ages to feel welcome and be invited to participate. Knowing the festival is going to be situated in the town alongside St Ives Festival, we want to engage with the local community, targeting businesses, schools and social groups. It is a chance to bring the community together and also for people who have never been to St Ives before to experience it at its best.
From participating in and evaluating other Circuit festivals, we have been able to draw from the positives and negatives which has informed our festival planning. For example, we want opportunities for audience participation and to present them with new experiences and encounters. Moreover, a continuous flow of activities and entertainment throughout the festival period is necessary. Although our target audience is 15-25 year olds, this is a large age bracket and something that might appeal to a 15-year-old might not appeal to a 25-year-old. Therefore, we want to accommodate for all ages within this bracket by offering a number of different activities.
Our recent success at the Festival Lab has been our decision on the name SWITCH, which might seem like a very small hurdle to overcome. However, since this success all our ideas have started to fall into place. We have now begun a refining process, deciding what ideas we want to run with and which are less important to us. Our decisions are also being informed by our budget, as it is important that we make the most of what we have. Having a working title has also meant we can start to tailor our ideas to the theme and begin the rather large task of advertisement.
We are very happy and excited with what our festival is shaping out to be and we invite you to come and join us on 23rd and 24th September 2016. We promise a weekend full of new experiences, arts, music, food and much more.
by Sophie Ryder & Katie Smith