Running Festivals eh?! Not easy at the best of times but… in Coronavirus Times…
Now for the most part we have conquered the actual putting on of the Festival. Take a look at the programme. It is strong - https://4cornersfestival.com
Some of our planning committee were shrewd back in March. They were sure that we would still be in some restrictions and needed to be flexible in our planning. As a result, in the strictest of lockdowns we are ready to roll out a festival. It is online… it is virtual… BUT it is rocked up!
Where it gets tricky is letting people know that a Festival is on. There are many things that I believe we will discover over the years about our time in lockdown. One of them is that we lost the power of gossip.
Now I hear you. Gossip is bad. Well it is when it is hearsay, rumour and judgemental. I wonder if a blessing of lockdown has been a whole lot less of that sort of gossip. That is not the gossip I mean.
I mean that every day chitter chat through which we communicate so many things that none of us read or watch on TV or studied at school. Little nuggets of information that pass across tables in cafes, desks in work, counters in shops, pews in churches.
Every year when we do our surveys about the 4 Corners Festival and ask how people heard about it the majority answer “word of mouth”. Now you can see why I am grieving the loss of gossip. The most powerful way to communicate events or news or truth is in potency of conversation. Jesus liked it better than preaching!
Of course there is another way that people find out about 4 Corners Festival. The programme. There it is on vestibule tables, all over church coffee areas, even in shops and librarys and cafes. There are thousands of them. You cannot stay away from them.
Except… in 2021 if you are ever in the vicinity of places where we would have had programmes you are probably breaking the law!
What about Billboards I hear you say. They are probably cheap at the moment. They are. Less traffic!
So… you can see our problem. Could you help? We will need the lockdown alternative gossip - or maybe we should call it, the more respectable, chit chat - share/retweet/message/text… We do believe that the Festival will be a breath of fresh air across the city, giving us all an opportunity to breathe in some grace and then breathe out some imagination. Spread the word!