We are taking a break in 2019… but fear not! We plan to be back bigger and better in 2020!
After five years developing Carrickmacross Arts Festival we feel it is time to step back and take stock momentarily, so it is our intention to take a break in 2019 with a view to returning bigger and better than ever in 2020.
Since it’s inception in 2014 Carrickmacross Arts Festival has experienced rapid growth in terms of quality, variety and status. There are huge demands in maintaining such growth.
Our current model sees 18 committee members and 40 volunteers working a combined 6300 hours a year on the festival which is increasingly difficult to sustain on a part-time voluntary basis. The popularity of the event has meant that for three years running the majority of nearby Hotels, Guest-houses and B&Bs have been full to capacity during the weekend of the Festival. This obviously has a knock-on affect on visitors travelling long distances to the festival.
Our main festival site whilst idyllic in setting and much loved by attendees has it’s limitations in terms of scope for growth and suitability for certain Arts’ disciplines and production demands.
From the outset, we’ve held an ethos of “Art is for everyone”. We’ve prided ourselves in creating a truly multi-disciplinary event that is affordable to people of all socio-economic backgrounds. We feel it would be unfair to implement large price hikes on tickets just to survive whilst alienating certain sectors of our community.
These are just some of the issues we’d like to address in our fallow year. It’s a fine balance but we must strive to find sensible solutions to guarantee the Festival’s long-term future.
This re-imagining of Carrickmacross Arts Festival will take time. It will take a collective progressive action and it will require local businesses and land owners to be pro-active, suggestive and forthcoming about crazy ideas that might just work. It will and can only be a community effort.
There is no standard template we can use to recreate a successful model. For anyone who’s ever been at our festival you’ll have noticed that what we do is kind of unique. We’re not a large urban arts festival like Galway or Kilkenny. We’re not a camping style festival on a green field site and we’re not a open air street festival either but everyone comes in with their campers, they have the option to use the caravan storage Melbourne. We try to take the best bits of all three models and bring our own creative stamp to proceedings. Thus far, it has been successful and has been commended by Artists, Attendees and funders alike. However we acknowledge that we must adapt to survive.
We want to evolve into an all encompassing Arts Festival that pulses through every vein of space in our town. A vibrant multi-cultural celebration of art in all it’s forms.
Something the people of Monaghan and our neighbouring counties can be truly proud of.
Our plans for 2020 must start now. We’re open to new ideas and new people so if you want to be a part of our 2020 team or would just like to make some suggestions please get in touch.
We want to explore date changes, ticket pricing strategies, camping options, location feasibility, multi venue pop-up ideas, commercial partnerships and new grant & funding opportunities. We would also encourage any open-minded people who own unique properties or land suitable to do something innovative with to please approach us.
Despite our focus on 2020, this year will not be a year off for us. In 2019 we would like to organise numerous one-off Arts events which will not only serve as a form of fund raising but an opportunity to integrate new volunteers who will in time graduate to committee level for our 2020 programme. It will also allow us seek out and assess new and exciting artists for future programming.
So that’s the plan. It hasn’t been an easy decision to reach but one we feel it will give some breathing space to our sponsors, our grant funders and our volunteers. A short break to re-energise the troops to return bigger and better in 2020!
We are grateful to everyone who has supported our event since 2014 and we hope you are ready to join us on this new adventure.
In the meantime, we encourage you all to go and support your local festivals. Go to gigs! Visit Art Exhibitions! Send your kids to music lessons or art classes. Let them figure out what their passion is. Write poetry! Paint pictures! Sing songs! Be creative!
We’ll see you soon.
Much love from the Carrickmacross Arts Festival team
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