Do we have any truly great festivals in the North East?

Anthony Baker, 11 July 2012

There is a wide range of festivals in the North East, many born from the cultural funds available in NewcastleGateshead over the past 10 years.

Does this provide for the festival/cultural landscape we need for now and the future?

Are the right people making the right decisions about the festivals landscape? Is there scope to re-calenderise the festivals?

Do we provide the right information to audiences that can engage them? how do people find out about what we do, why we do it and what it means to them?

Is the market saturated with too many festivals and not enough definition?

do festivals need to happen every year, can they be on offs, or do we need to keep reinventing them? can they be a moment of celebration and then end?

Does the word festival carry any currency? Is it restrictive or does it provide an open platform? are there particular expectations?

Do we have the right conversations? what about the audience?

should we just be more honest and clear about the work we programme and why?

should festivals just do what they do best? Be true to your audience?

Is specialism/niche the answer?

Does the funding system/politics manipulate the market?

how do we engage an audience?

what is the purpose if ACE funding dictates the content, and would corporate funders be any different?

is a festival about celebrating the community?

Are you experiencing ‘events’ or a ‘festival’, what does that mean and does it matter?

we need to find a way of communicating what we do. is it about a shared value?

no agenda, just lots of like-minded people?

is it about the conversation?

what is the connection between the artists and the community? Does that develop audiences?

shared experiences

Risk - can a festival help us take a chance on work? are they about trying something new?


Audiences, artists, audiences, funders, shared values, festivals, ACE