At Summerfolk, we’re a little like those spirits in A Christmas Carol — you know, when the spirit of Christmas Present says to Ebenezer, “Mortal! We Spirits of Christmas do not live only one day of our year. We live the whole three-hundred and sixty-five.”
While the warming weather and the longer days may finally be making your head turn to thoughts of festivals, to sitting on the grass in the sun and listening to music — we’ve been planning and thinking about it for months!
Any given festival year, more than 18 months before, there are grants to apply for, budgets to make, sponsorships to seek. There are porta-potties, sound equipment, fencing and tents to book. There are conferences to attend with showcases where we can see prospective performers.
I usually draw up a wish list of acts that I think would fit with our festival. Suggestions from our audience, our volunteers and other Artistic Directors mix and mingle and can run into hundreds of names. Then the calls and emails begin. The wish list gets whittled down depending on what the artistic budget is, what the performers’ schedules are and where we might have opportunities to share with other festivals that happen on or close to our weekend. The result is that the wish list looks different from the final lineup. Sometimes, if a performer isn’t available for that year’s festival, I’ll make a commitment to book them for the next year.