Arundel Festival of the Arts set to delight with virtual showcase
Arundel Festival of the Arts is moving from the streets to the screens for 2020 to help showcase the town’s great traditions of entertainment, culture, community and business. This year’s Arundel Festival had to be cancelled, along with festivals the length and breadth of the country.
But chairman Sharon Blaikie quickly determined to turn something negative into something wholly positive. Instead of all the usual festival events this year which simply cannot go ahead, Sharon and the team are offering a virtual showcase to celebrate the town, its remarkable talents, its remarkable community and its remarkable history.
She promised it would bring together the wide range of “creative brilliance” the town has to offer – “from the outstanding artists, performers and sound technicians (Thunderaudio) to the exceptional collaborative of brand designer (Sue Roberston), web designer (Karl Salter), social media expert (Hannah Armstrong) and film production team (beechtobeach) sourced through Arundel’s creative community Akin.”
During the ten days of what would have been the festival on the streets, the virtual showcase will run from August 21-31 with the daily programmes being launched at 8.20pm every night on Arundel Festival of the Arts’ new YouTube channel.
“We knew it was too risky to put on live acts all over the town but with so much talent and creativity in our community and beyond, we didn’t want 2020 to be cancelled altogether. This way can keep our audience entertained, promote Arundel and its businesses and create content to keep up interest for 2021,” Sharon said.
“The atmosphere of support and can-do is amazing and despite needing to maintain distance and work within a strict timetable, we managed some stunning performances which I think will forever delight our online audiences with a vibrant representation of what’s to come whilst protecting everyone from the safety of their own homes.
“We’ve used this challenging time wisely to present and support the whole town in the best way possible – as a cultural arts centre and a wonderful place to visit – promoting its businesses, community groups, attractions and artists, placing Arundel on the map of the world! We are growing the new brand and will emerge strong and resilient in the years ahead. Positivity has shone through.”
A number of performances were filmed in a day at the Victoria Institute for the virtual festival; pre-existing videos will complement them.
It comes in Arundel Festival’s first year as Arundel Festival of the Arts, part of a rebranding exercise which Sharon and the team are nurturing.
“We are building the new brand, and the reason we chose the new title was to allow all the art forms to take equal place. We felt it was a title that would be future-proofed for other events.”
In other words, if they ever decided to do a literary festival at another time of year, it could easily slip under the Arundel Festival of the Arts title: “We want to be able to include our town, our history, our businesses, our community. We wanted an inclusive-exclusive title. And we saw this as a great opportunity to showcase what a unique place Arundel is.”
Sharon and the team are hoping to reach a worldwide audience: “During this lockdown we have been able to reach people globally, and with this we will be able to show people around the world what a fabulous town Arundel is. You will get a much wider reach. Everybody has got used to using Zoom and so on. We will be able to show everybody everywhere what a unique and unusual town Arundel is.
“But this showcase represents just a glimmer. It’s about leaving the audiences wanting more. It’s letting them see some of the multitude of talents and some of the innovative businesses. It’s about making them want to come back for more next year.”
You can follow the virtual festival on:
YouTube - Behind the scenes content and tasters now. New episodes from August 21 every night 8.20pm: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGQ3VGmVG6SIP4rTNO_Va2Q
Facebook: @ArundelFestival – https://www.facebook.com/ArundelFestival
Arundel businesses will be awarding prizes every night to viewers who comment online about the shows.
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