When a festival comes together properly, it is far more than a series of shows in a brochure.
Three weeks of new writing in particular can foster an irresistible alchemy between audience and artist. You’ll collect your tickets to a show written by someone you’ve never heard of, but who you will never forget. The mobbed foyer becomes a conclave to discuss and disagree. The stage space is turned upside down, as several new theatrical worlds are conjured and disappeared (with a smooth fifteen minute change over) all within one evening.
When a festival comes together properly, it should make you feel like sticking around after the show you’ve seen is over. It should make you feel welcome to buy an artist a (craft) beer and tell them how their story made you feel in your guts. If curated properly, approximately a week before the festival opens, the anticipatory FOMO should reach intolerable levels, and you should find yourself cancelling long-standing engagements with loved ones (sorry Nan) in order to book as many tickets to as many shows as you can (because what if you miss the one with the ’80s pop choir live on stage?).
When a festival comes together properly, it is a meeting place for artists, a forum for community, and a battleground for alternative ideas about who we are, how we treat each other and most importantly, where we are going. When it comes to Batch Festival this year, well, you’ll just have to head to the Cross and see if it all comes together. (Spoiler alert—it absolutely does).
Artistic Associate, Griffin Theatre Company
Co-Curator, Batch Festival