We've kept busy here in Ventnor. Our soft launch has provided us a great platform to learn and grow as a venue in a safe, free and welcoming environment. The team would like to thank Ventnor Fringe having faith in us and letting The Stage to take over The Plaza, one of the festival's most prominent busking spaces. The week has proven that our buzzwords, our mantra if you like, is ringing true and actually working in practice as well as in our wildest (van related) daydreams;
Affordable for Artists:
AUDIO INSTALLATION "Is it Yoppul?" by STEVEN SALES has been a success and a great conversation starter with the islanders and mainlanders alike about the state of disappearing dialects and the island talk. We met a man who's 96-year-old uncle never left Isle of Wight and who's speech had to be translated by other family members. Talking about locality and community! Both Steven and the buskers who have used the space so far have expressed their passion and excitement for our project. As a venue fee-free stage/gallery we have already enabled shows and performances that wouldn't have happened otherwise. This makes us very proud indeed.
Accessible for Audiences:
On Friday we launched as a BUSKING venue, and it was another instant success. Despite (or maybe because of??) the harrowing wind the audiences rushed in with their cups of tea, pints of beer and boxes of bangers and mash to enjoy the warm living room-like atmosphere of the closed van. Singer-Songwriter DANIEL ZAPPI played over an hour to an audience of 12 enthusiastic listeners calling it "the highlight of the Fringe". Island's own GENERALE hosted a storytelling session and a Bob Dylan jam session as well as playing some classic guitar tunes. The audiences were beyond grateful for us keeping our doors open through the unpredictable weather and providing a space for them to get close and personal with the performers. Stories we shared on both sides and whilst I was holding on to the door with both hands stopping them from flying open I couldn't help but feel super happy being part of making this all possible.
Sustainable for the Future:
On Thursday Kate participated in FRINGE FORUM to have a panel discussion about the future of the arts in communities. And she was so good you guys! You can check out Facebook live and Instagram for videos of her talking about The Errant Stage and where we want to be in ten years time. Another panelist IAN from ARC CONSULTING made a point that really rang true in terms of our project: as well as focusing on sustainability as an environmental issue by aiming to provide a green service with compost loos and solar powered stage and a bio diesel van it's just as important to note that what we're doing just by having the space in operation is to provide, challenge and re-think "human habitats" and what it means to use public space for creative ventures. "You're already doing more than you think you are". Thank you Ian!
LITTLE UPDATE ON OUR CROWDFUNDER:
While I'm at it: We've just seen some raw footage of our crowdfunding video made by the amazing George Shankster...and let's just say I wanted to throw my credit card at the screen! It's going to be good guys, hold on to your pay checks ;)