Friday, June 7, 2013

5 steps to holding your own hip-hop festival By Karen O’Donnell-O’Connor

Karen O’Donnell O’Connor is the Community Development Officer with PAUL Partnership and is a member of the organising committee of ‘Make A Move’ in Limerick. 

No. 1 - Get Started!
ü  Bring a group of knowledgeable and dedicated people together.
ü  Make sure you have a blend of artists, hip hop experts, youth workers, people with funding skills, reporting skills and experienced arts events organisers.

No. 2 - Make Decisions!
*  Look at how best to link with young people, to give them some ownership of the events. Eg Organise workshops in the lead-up to the festival.
*  Having one person who sees the big picture will make everyone’s life easier. If you can put some money aside to pay a festival director, do it!
*  Decide what kind of hip-hop events best suit your festival.
*  Decide what artists are best to book. Get booking as they are in demand!

No. 3 - Fund it!
*  Research what kinds of funding are available through your local authority, the Arts Council, etc.  Be aware of application deadlines and what they will and won’t pay for.
*  Use existing resources wherever possible. Raise funds locally. A number of small donations can really add up!

No. 4 - Get Support on Board!
*  Talk to local community groups and local arts institutions about facilities and support.
*  Talk to the business community. Make sponsors an official “friend of the festival”.
*  Talk to pubs and clubs about bringing hip-hop acts to their venues to widen the festival out to the general community.
*  Ask yourselves what kind of volunteer support is needed.
*  Recruit volunteers through your website, Facebook account and Twitter. Set up a website, Facebook account and Twitter!

No. 5 - Keep Talking:
*  The festival committee should meet on regularly, probably weekly.  The committee makes sure security, insurance, health and safety and finance are in place for the festival. Make sure every committee member is sure of their role.
*  Contact the press before, during and after the festival. Thank everyone who helped.
*  Meet afterwards to evaluate how well the festival went and whether you’d like to run it again. Ensure that reporting is done for funding bodies as required.

* The hip-hop festival grew from a community arts training programme run by PAUL.

CAPTION: A world record attendance of Incredible Hulks at the Muckno Mania Festival last year, one of the beneficiaries of CML’s new funding approach.

Sharing festival materials saves money

Every festival committee in the country rents out many of the same things every year – a public address system, crowd control barriers, street cones, perhaps a small marquee.
However, a new approach pioneered by Cavan-Monaghan LEADER (CML) has taken some of the pressure off organising committees.
Last year, CML hit upon the idea of bringing together the organisers of everything from bog-snorkelling, to pipe-band parades to film and drama festivals, so they could apply for funding as a cluster. They then buy what they need, share it between them and look after it.
In Cavan-Monaghan, for example, local festival committees now own semi-permanent signs that are designed to allow the sign insert to be changed depending on what festival is on.
“The economic downturn led to less sponsorship for festivals and organisers were approaching us for support,” said John Toland of CML, “and in many cases the same equipment was being hired by a number of festivals in the same geographic area.”
In 2012, five cluster groups received some €300,000 to support nearly 30 festivals and the new approach is seen as a model of best practice that development companies across the country may wish to emulate.
There’s more to it than has been explained here and John Toland can provide further information. T: 049-4338477. E:

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