Thursday, 3 October 2013

#LittleFest - Thank You & What Next

So, the last four weekends have seen On Our Turf come kicking and screaming in to the big wide world. We’ve had four festivals, across four weekends, across four towns. So that’s a #LittleFest in Easingwold, Pocklington, Selby and Helmsley – 2 days in each town filled with theatre, poetry, crafts, dance, music, storytelling, photography, workshops, art, literature, games, trails and adventures.

If you want it in numbers, it looks like this:
4 Towns
4 Weekends
95 Venues
251 Events
133 Companies & Artists
380 Performers
Over 220 hours of free performance

That means that, on average, each town has produced over 48 hours of entirely free arts, crafts and performance.

That is really quite remarkable.

But what is more remarkable are all the people behind it who have made it all happen. What is remarkable are all the people who have said ‘yes’ to creating something which has never happened before. What is remarkable is that all this happened because people wanted it to, got their hands dirty and built it all from scratch.

Every person who said ‘yes’ believes that the arts has a truly important place to occupy in their community. And when I say people who said ‘yes’ I mean people who said yes to coming to perform, whether that’s their first ever gig or their thousandth, whether they are from near or far; people who said yes to hosting acts in their venues, be it their pub or shop or cafĂ© or garden; people who said yes to meeting every week to make sure we had organised everything; people who said yes to putting up a poster or handing out a flyer; people who said yes to coming and watching something they might not normally watch in somewhere they might not normally watch it.

Most of all, though, everyone who said yes to helping make something happen. It only happens if there are people behind it. There’s no arts fairy, no magic spells – it’s just people and imagination and hard work and care and time – and together they create some remarkable things.

But, like I said, this is just the beginning. We have two years of work to create, festivals to programme, artist to commission, mountains to climb and things to learn. So we want to learn, look forwards and start planning and imagining the next bits. And how do we make that all happen? With brilliant people.

If you liked the sound of #LittleFest, if you came and enjoyed yourself, if you came and didn’t enjoy yourself – we’d love to have in our conversations. On Our Turf is big, and it needs people who care about their community in the beating heart of it. Whether you’ve spent your life working in the arts, or if you’ve never set foot in a theatre, we want you on board.

We want to bring people together and make things happen. There are four £10,000 commissions to mount, 12 more festivals to create and no end of other work to imagine.

If you want to know more, you are cordially invited to The Ballroom in De Grey Rooms, York Theatre Royal on the 10th October 2013 at 7:45pm.

If you can, we’d ask you to think about the following about our work so far:
1)      Two things which have been really successful
2)      Two things which could have been better
3)      Two things which weren’t there at all and you’d liked to have seen
These could be to do with performances, organisation, communication, marketing, press, production, financial or anything else which has gone on over the last few months. If you've had no contact with the project yet, then that's fine too. 

Please do RSVP to me in advance of the 10th so we know how many people to expect. If you can’t make it, then please feel free to send on notes in advance to include in the discussions. You can get me on

Finally, although the words themselves are scarcely big enough, a huge Thank You to everyone involved. Each and every person has poured some heart and soul, not to mention a great deal of time, in to these four #LittleFests. You should be very proud of what you have created and kicked off with such energy, vibrancy and ambition.

Photos by James Eaglesfield