- 25 April to 10 May: Musicity Singapore 2014 (music and spoken word festival in Tiong Bahru) – Organiser, Festival Director
- 15 May: Makan Matters – Publicity
- 22/23 and 29/30 August: Singapore Night Festival – Operations support
- 1 to 9 September: Singapore International Storytelling Festival – Publicity
- 26 to 28 September: Lit Up 2014 – Organising team, Programme and Publicity
The year 2014 shall henceforth be known as “Up to Eyeballs in Festivals”.
My professional life since December 2012 seems to have been consumed by festivals and events. However, as tiring as it has been, there is no guarantee that my associates and I won’t be at it again once we’ve had our rest.
There’s a pull about festivals – used here to mean protracted events; a force that drives creativity and pushes boundaries, physical, emotional and professional. It’s a mixture of good and bad emotions, but the lessons learned are always good.
The Top 3 noteworthy lessons being: Documentation, Partners, Community.
It’s a given that contracts are vital to any transaction. But so, too, is documenting in writing every conversation you might have on the phone, Skype, Whatsapp or any other non-email discussion. My almost OCD practice of following up each phone or Skype call with an email to recap discussion points is a habit to be celebrated. The accumulated email documentation has enabled me to rationally, reasonably and confidently write parties off, even if it means burning the proverbial bridge.
Who you work with is the luck of the draw, even if potential partners come recommended. Life is riddled with hits and misses. You learn from the misses and you shout about the hits. The hits I like to shout about are clients and partners who are collaborative. By that, I don’t mean they approve every single one of my ideas without question. Rather, collaborative clients and partners are the ones who take the time to discuss issues, to meet regularly, to present alternative ideas, to check back on visuals, copy and facts. Most significantly, with consideration to the efforts put in by all parties, they endorse the entire endeavour with their physical presence at the actual event.
3. A Community Centre
Not the building where neighbours meet but the focal point of everyone’s efforts. These festivals would not have happened for The Creative Voice without the strong community core that melded things together. But how would you identify community?
For the Tiong Bahru festival, it was the community of residents, business owners and artists.
For Makan Matters, it was the community of companies and individuals that formed our client’s customer base.
For Lit Up, it was the community of artists, F&B and flea market vendors, and student volunteers.
All these disparate parts work together to create content, drive publicity and awareness, and they hold the programme together on festival day.
Oh, yes. And Tip #4?
Drink lots of water, breathe and just let it happen.
Here’s to the success of your next event!
For more on these festivals: