''Expect the unexpected.’’
''Be true to your roots.’’
''Never patronise your audience.’’
These are just some of the useful tips given at the Festival Peak talk by Jenny Howard-Coombes and Cathryn Peach. Both festival organisers talked about the trials and tribulations of their work but also the rewards of putting art into action.
Jenny is a part of the team that organises Hull's Freedom festival which attracts up to 140,000 people a year, it’s safe to say that she and her team definitely know the recipe for success. She talked to the audience about how the event was ‘‘born out of a need for something creative and cultural’’ to commemorate the anti-slavery work of Hull native William Wilberforce and others – and thus the Freedom festival was born.
Cathryn works as part of a different kind of festival named Just So. This specialises in camping and outdoor activities, inviting up to 6,000 people to join in. Unlike the city-based Freedom festival, this is located in the countryside. It was great to see the comparison between these two different festivals.
|An event at the 2016 Freedom Festival in Hull.|
At both the beginning and end of the talk the audience was asked whether they thought festivals as a whole were a dying concept.
The answer was a unanimous no.