Coordinating a Music Programme with Restricted Access

Lydia is a newer member of the Journeys Festival International team as the Festival Coordinator. She had a memorable start to joining the organisation as she shares in her first blog post.

My journey under my new role of Festival Coordinator at ArtReach began in June of this year... yes, in the middle of a global pandemic! I was extremely excited to join an organisation that helps makes life more colourful and bearable for those with those facing uniquely complicated circumstances and challenges.

For our safety, we have to work remotely until the COVID-coast is clear. This meant me digging deep for my non-existent interior design skills to create a comfy office space in the corner of my room with my favourite plant by my side! I was warmly welcomed by the team and assigned my first project: Organising the Music Programme for Journeys Festival International 2020.

This is the first time Journeys Festival International has been converted to a Digital Programme, which calls for an extra strand of creativity and innovation! Nearly 2 months in, I feel that I have adjusted and adapted quite quickly to the team, working remotely and developing the Music Programme.

Contacting and booking artists via email and Zoom calls has its perks including communicating more efficiently and witnessing the excitement that artists express to be able to create again during these uncertain times. Being isolated for such a long period of time makes any form of contact and communication with people even more valuable and exciting. I've also found hashtags and key words extra useful when seeking artists. My colleagues have been super supportive and helpful in suggesting artists to contact and encouraging me to find my own style and rhythm on how I work, which has also been a blast to explore and develop.

With anything, of course, comes challenges. Because of the current ever-changing times we are facing, some artists don't have the access or means to create digital content and I've worked on providing some support for this. One of my biggest focuses with the project is to ensure that audiences that tune in will feel welcomed and artists feel appreciated, which led me to finding a brilliant host, Eliab Million!

Another tricky aspect has been finding where to place the programme across a 3-week Festival. After a bit of brainstorming, I decided that every Friday from 7pm would be a great place to start.

I am so pleased to see the programme coming together and ecstatic to announce this year's amazing acts! I have learnt in such a short time that society should never neglect artists as they have a special role in this world to tell stories, represent the unrepresented and bring about positive vibrations to a world that desperately needs healing.

Make sure you are tuned in to the programme taking place on the 2nd, 9th and 16th of October from 7pm! It's gonna be good.

To keep up to date with announcements for 2020's digital edition of Journeys Festival International, sign up to our newsletter at www.journeysfestival.com and follow the Festival's social media.

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