Well well well, where to start?! That's the question I'm asking myself about this diary entry and it's the question I ask myself around October time each year when I'm starting to get my Farmfest head on again. No rest for the wicked as the saying goes!
So what does an Arts Coordinator actually do, I hear you ask? It’s my job to book, create, manage and take part in all the random entertainment you see onsite that has nothing to do with bands or DJs.
When I go to festivals as a punter, the music is a massive draw, but I love to see a bit of something that you would not get anywhere else, and that tends to be the quirky arts thing you stumble upon by chance. My aim is for all our Farmfest revellers to feel as though they’ve really been a part of something a little different. This fits in with out roots too – not many festivals in this day and age can say they have been going for 9 years without the help of corporate sponsorship. We are able to do this by roping in our friends and family to help with anything and everything!
My friends have been fab, in the past they’ve played roles such as a family of farmers, to being the onsite ‘Hat Police’, enforcing the adornment of hats at all times. This year they will literally be Space Cadets(!) patrolling the site, selling programmes, raising money for our charity Send a Cow, overseeing the ‘Race to Space’ and aiding festival goers in getting the most out of the weekend.
In the past few years my focus has been to test the water with our audience to see what arts stuff they are actually interested in seeing at Farmfest. Part of my job on the weekend is to talk to punters to see what they have enjoyed, not enjoyed or want to see more of next year. I have come to realise that we have a wonderful mix of urban partiers, fun-seeking country bumpkins, people who come every year and festival newbies of every age; all of whom seem to be up for experiencing something a bit different on the side of watching some top quality music.
This year, along with our kids queen Hazel I've decided to create a whole new world. Please welcome our new area (drum roll please) THE MILKY WAY! Think rocket wreckage, space cadets, dressing up, performance, race to space, death drawing, out of this world cinema and much more!
So what do I do the rest of the year? I have a day job, like everyone on the Farmfest team. We’d love this to be our full time jobs but it’s not going to pay the rent unfortunately! But for the festival I spend a lot of my time on the internet, reading listings and chatting to my artistically minded friends to find out about new events and projects. Evenings are spent watching shows, comedy, dance, taking art classes, doing yoga and taking lots of notes. At Farmfest we pride ourselves in only booking acts we know are amazing live. I don't treat my job any differently. I aim to see everything I book so I can liaise with the artists before about how best to fit their work into our festival theme and ethos.
One of my weekend highlights is our annual Hat Competition. Each year my job, with help from the rest of the team, is to come up with the categories. Around 3pm on Saturday afternoon, the site fills up with people in the most amazing hats ready for the parade and judging. Some past favourites for me have been an edible pie hat and last year’s winners who recreated the film Labyrinth in three hats in the best group category. There is always such a great atmosphere and it’s amazing to see all the hard work everyone puts in to making their hats. This year we are going to run some hat making workshops during the festival so if anyone is unorganised they can still be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to next year’s Farmfest!
Laura’s Farm Favourites
DJ Vadim playing live on the mainstage as The Electric in 2009. I wasn’t actually working this year and was there as a festival-goer (and a little worse for wear after getting a bit over excited on the Friday!). Some footage from the set was actually dropped in at the end of the video for their track “Running’. FAAAAARMFEST!
A highlight for me on Friday last year was finishing in time to see Typesun. He completely smashed it with The PL.
I am really looking forward to seeing Romare and the boys from Wholemeal. They are sure to get you dancing!
Laura Bozic – Arts Coordinator