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Posts tagged ‘Event management’

Celebrating Disruption – Article from the Mystery Plays Programme

First published in the York Mystery Plays 2014 programme…
‘For too long we’ve been too apologetic’ … This was the frame of mind I was in when we started planning our route through the city and the playing stations for the 2014 Mystery Plays.

In my early years as event producer I was often approached to ‘help make things happen’, this request came often from projects facing objections, and in a position of limited resources and with complications that meant i had to carefully balance the needs and aspirations of the project with the potential impact on the location and the (often reluctant) stakeholders involved.

Now that i’m a lot older and a little bit wiser I find myself becoming a little bit more ‘bullish’ about the importance of certain projects balanced against the minor disruptions that they cause – in some cases, like the Mystery Plays, I even feel that perhaps we should be celebrating that ‘disruption’.

York mystery plays come in many formats, they are not ‘owned’ by anybody but by the same measure are owned by everybody.

In 2012 a new large-scale staging of the plays took place in the modern tradition and context in the museum gardens. That concentration of activity and the scale brought visual spectacle and impact, though there was nothing to see beyond the bound of the museum gardens a buzz resonating around the city – something significant was happening. Something that everyone had a stake in.

The medieval tradition of the plays on the wagons being celebrated this year – is a certainly a more ‘distributed’ approach in its planning and preparation and in its final realisation – The effort and the energy put into producing plays happens behind closed doors in schools, the university, church halls, farmers barn and in unusual uncharted corners of the city – wherever people can find space to rehearse their scene and build their set. A ‘community of communities’ bringing forth the plays.

There is no pomp and ceremony in the months in the running-up to the plays, no yellow bikes lining routes or knitted bunting hanging in the trees – but on the day, the tens of thousands of people that engage with the pageantry of the plays as the move from location to location or that sit and watch at the playing stations are seeing something unique – something that not only that makes York distinctive and engaging as a tourist experience, but also speaks of the commitment and enthusiasm of the communities in York – which makes it a compelling place to live and to work.

In the last year we’ve seen the city centre of York in upheaval as major ‘essential works’ were carried out securing gas supplies for the city – Roads were closed, areas cordoned off and peoples work and life inconvenienced, but it passed and life carried on as normal.

It is probably glib to make the comparison and to say that the opportunity to engage in a city wide civic expression of our cultural heritage and our creative distinctiveness is as important as a reliable and safe gas mains supply – but it could be argued that the as York Cycle of Mystery Plays capture peoples hearts and minds, embedded as part of the fabric of the city – the disruption caused by these ‘essential works’ is a small price to pay.

 

Ben Pugh – 13/07/2014

Call for Volunteers – York Mystery Plays

York Mystery Plays is one of the largest community events in the city’s calendar and it is looking for volunteers to help make it the biggest and best yet.

From the Mystery Plays call out:

York Mystery Plays is an exciting event that only happens every four years and is performed over two Sundays in July. 12 community groups will be performing 12 plays on 12 waggons that will process through the streets and perform at 4 different playing stations, filling York’s ancient streets with music and drama in a tradition that goes back to medieval times.

With paid ticketed seating areas at two of the playing stations and it being free to view at all of them, this is a fantastic opportunity to be part of this unusual and rare event. You would be working with a core team of professional stewards to assist audiences, check tickets, sell programmes and collect audiences responses.

There is also a mini Festival happening in the week between the two Sunday performances so we will be looking for volunteers to support in much the same way for events there. There are two shifts, a morning and an afternoon (time varies slightly depending on your playing station) and are approx 4 hours each.

Events like this cannot happen without people like you, so if you would like to take part in this amazing event, please email me at lizzie@purple-marketing.co.uk and I can send you a form with more details and to collect your availability.

We will then have our first briefing on Thurs 26th June 6.30pm at Bedern Hall.

The new Purple Guide is now online

Event organisers will be (or at least should be) very familiar with the Purple Guide – it has provided guidance across a range of subjects from crowd management to fireworks, medical provision to waste management, and so on, since 1993.

Over the last couple of years the HSE have undergone consultation with industry practitioners and have together drawn up a new version.

The new Purple Guide is available now (in draft) online:

**UPDATE – the draft version online is closed now ** (01/2014)

www.thepurpleguide.co.uk 

From the site:

“The Purple Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Music and Other Events (Draft) has been drawn up by the Events Industry Forum in consultation with the UK events industry, including representatives from regional and national Government. This publication is designed to replace the original ‘Purple Guide’ (HSG195) which was originally published by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in consultation with the industry.

 Covering both legislation and good practice, this new guide has been designed to sign-post event organisers and suppliers to the practices and issues that need to be considered when events are being organised. The contents are not designed to be prescriptive and those using this guidance should undertake appropriate risk assessments and evaluations to evaluate the specific requirements of the specific events they are organising or involved with.”

Illuminating York 2013 – Call for new works

The Illuminating York Committee have just issued the call for works for the 2013 festival.

If you are interested take a look at the downloads below.

There is one call for major commissions and one for smaller works.

IY 2013 Supporting Commissions

IY 2013 Major Commission

In a nutshell:

DEADLINE: 1 March 2013

Introduction: Illuminating York is a cutting edge light based Festival which has been running annually, in the City of York, for the last nine years. During that time the Festival has commissioned major international works for the Minster, Museum Gardens and other sites within the city walls. Previously commissioned artists include Patrice Warrener, Paul Kaiser (Open Ended Group), Usman Haque, Bright White, United VJs, OMA International, Vic Reeves, GaiaNova and Ross Ashton amongst others.

In recent years the Festival has attracted between 20,000 – 75,000 visitors, residents and tourists per year and brought over £1 million annual economic benefit into the city.

The Festival has enjoyed a broad range of media coverage over the years and reaches all corners of the globe from Canada to Australia and Europe. In 2012 the Festival introduced a small charge for audiences to view the main commission and with an 80-100% capacity each night, we intend to continue this model for parts of the Festival in 2013.

The theme of this year’s Festival is ‘Illuminating the Past, Enlightening the Future.’ It is 1000 years since King Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ of Denmark was named king of England in 1013. Incoming communities and cultures have played an important role in the development of York as a City. York has deep and strong links to its Viking heritage in particular and the waves of invasions that York has experienced over the years, which has created a vibrant city with a rich and varied culture.

We are interested in artwork that investigates the Scandinavian influences on York’s heritage and on the city today. This could be through art, clothing, food, technology, people and politics or other cultural interventions.

Several of our key attractions are planning exhibitions and events that celebrate this aspect of our history and culture and you may like to consider incorporating some time for research and development in your expression of interest.

We are in the process of applying for funding for the 2013 Festival and the Festival will take place from 30th October – 2nd November inclusive.

Artworks will also be expected to be fully operational for the press launch on Tuesday 29th October.

We are interested in small to medium-scale outdoor work that shows York in a new light.

The work must be visually appealing to audiences of all ages. We are looking for several supporting commissions that together, will achieve regional and national press coverage for the city.

Illuminating York 2012 – Volunteering Opportunity

The organisers of Illuminating York are looking for people over the age of 18, who would like to volunteer as a festival steward. You will need to be available on one or more of the following evenings between 5:00pm and 10:30pm (31st October, 1st November, 2nd November and 3rd November) and you will need to be available for a briefing on Tuesday 30th at 7:00pm, lasting one hour.

You can view the festival brochure here

You will be based at the Msueum Gardens and your role would be to hand out maps and leaflets to members of the public and be a first point of contact for any queries that they may have. We will brief you fully on the best way to respond to queries and you will be working in pairs so there will be plenty of support. You may also be asked to complete on site surveys with members of the public and again we will provide everything you need and brief you fully.

This is a great way to gain experience in the events and festival industry, meet people and see some great art for free too!

If you are interested please send a CV or a couple of paragraphs about your background and interests to portia.simpson@york.gov.uk

 

Graeme Hawley to play the Devil in York Mystery Plays 2012

Some more exciting news from Mystery Plays towers:

The actor who played one of Coronation Street’s most infamous villains will play the Devil in the York Mystery Plays 2012 this summer!

Graeme Hawley, 37, was nominated for Villain of the Year in the 2009 and 2011 British Soap Awards for his role as John Stape. Graeme has also appeared in Shamless, A Touch of Frost and Emmerdale, said he was thrilled to be taking on the role!

Joint Artistic Directors for the 2012 production, Damian Cruden and Paul Burbridge, said: “We are delighted that Graeme Hawley will be joining the York Mystery Plays 2012 cast to play the role of the Devil. Graeme is a popular TV face and is of course well known by audiences of Coronation Street as villain John Stape. He also has a fine theatrical acting CV, he’s Northern, he has the perfect balance of experience and we’re very happy that he’s chosen to work with us over the summer. We’ve created two important central roles for the 2012 plays and are extremely pleased with our casting of the two professional actors. We look forward to working with Graeme and to seeing him play opposite Ferdinand Kingsley as God/Jesus.”

On stage he has performed in a number of productions for the Manchester Library Theatre including Rock n Roll, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Measure for Measure. Most recently, he played the role of Jack in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and Paul in Love and Money, both for Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre.

We look forward to working with both of our professionals and hope you will also

ISAN Environmental Sustainability Toolkit

Just caught wind of this… looks like a really useful publication for anyone in the outdoor creative industries and events…

The ISAN Environmental Sustainability Toolkit is now live and downloadable for free from the Downloads section of the ISAN website and from Julie’s Bicycle. The Toolkit focuses on practical achievable measures and highlights examples of good practice from case studies covering a range of presentation platforms, generic processes and contexts. It contains good practice guidelines, resource information, a glossary of terms and useful contacts to facilitate the creation of environmentally sustainable outdoor art.

It is designed to help the wider outdoor arts constituency to develop sustainable practice. It is intended to be used by both small and large organisations as a means to support and develop greener and more efficient working practices.

read more about this and ISAN on their website : http://isanuk.org/

Become a Festival Volunteer – Illuminating York

The following info has come from the Illuminating York website:

(http://illuminatingyork.org.uk/volunteering/)

Worth a look, i think…

Become a Festival Volunteer

Ever fancied working as part of an events team? Volunteering on events and festivals can be a great way of gaining invaluable work experience, making new friends and having loads of fun.

The Illuminating York Festival, relies on the enthusiastic support of volunteers. The volunteering roles available include helping out with marketing, business engagement, stewarding events, administration and more.

To express an interest in becoming a volunteer and receive notification of new volunteering opportunites, please get in touch with Portia Simpson.

E: portia.simpson@york.gov.uk

T: 01904 554257