Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Events’

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.

‘The History Man’ – from The Stage newspaper

In the briefest moment of something falling between vanity and self promotion, i thought i’d share this article with you that was first published in The Stage newspaper on 16th of August 2012. It sheds a bit of light on what i spent a good chunk of the summer doing and Kevin frames my role and my approach in very positive terms too!

The venue for York Mystery Plays 2012 is the city’s museum gardens. Kevin Berry speaks to event manager Ben Pugh about overcoming difficulties with building a theatre in the round on an archaeological site.

“On site there was nothing – other than a very beautiful setting,” says Ben Pugh. “Everything had to come in from scratch and we have erected a state of the art, 1,400-seat venue on a sensitive historical site”

The site is York Museum Gardens and the venue he mentions will stage the York Mystery Plays throughout August. York Theatre Royal, Riding Lights Theatre Company and York Museums Trust are producing the plays with support from York Council.

The Theatre Royal production team has vast experience in working off site, with The Railway Children at the National Railway Museum, and is substantially reconfiguring its traditional auditorium to create a theatre in the round for summer seasons.

Pugh is the event manager for the Mystery Plays charged with supervising the erection of what amounts to an actual theatre on a site governed by the severest constraints. No digging allowed – “We can’t touch the monument” – and certainly no access for articulated trucks. Over 300 tons of scaffolding was off-loaded outside York and then shuttled in on smaller vehicles.

York Museum Gardens is a public park used by 10,000 people every day during the summer, and Pugh and his team have had to close off a third of that space. In the garden’s ten acres there is a protected English Heritage monument (the Benedictine St Mary’s Abbey), a busy museum and botanical gardens.

The sheer enormity of the task faced by Pugh’s team becomes apparent as he continues talking. It is difficult to take in. Getting the number of people involved, nearly 2,000 community players, and managing them, even in these days of mobile phones and emails, has been quite a challenge. The genial Pugh, who appears to take everything in his stride, suggests “thinking of the usual theatrical process and then times it by 2,000”

Have the vehicles been churning up the ground? After all, York has had its share of rain in recent weeks.

“We have a three metre-wide metal track way running from the road to the stage site,” Pugh says. “The gateway is part of the scheduled monument and is three metres wide. We’ve had to be very steady, coordinated and careful. We needed the track to guard against the weather, and also there’s a lot of buried archaeology just under the surface. While many events this year have been undone by the weather, we’ve been fine on this site.”

In the theatre there is a one foot rise between each row of seats and everyone will have a good view, plus there is a roof over the audience. The theatre is already two metres off the ground so there is a substantial sub-stage area for actors and staff to come up through trap doors and use rising stairways. Pugh emphasises that his team has had to build an entire venue: dressing rooms, toilet blocks, putting in water pipes, indeed all of the infrastructure needed in the theatre.

“We are presenting ourselves with a whole load of practical and logistical challenges to give ourselves that creative freedom in the space,” says Pugh. “We have been keen to get the community involved and that has brought forth amazing creative energy.”

He talks of a fusion of techniques and approaches and the sharing of them. Members of the community who may be painters and decorators coming in to paint the scenery, people who go to embroidery class once a week helping with costumes.

“We’re working with Star Events Group and they’re re-engineered their seating principles to enable us to have a fluid, flexible theatre space,” Pugh explains. “They’ve never built on a site like this. We asked them for a whole load of things to make it a theatre – such as entrance ways and tunnels and things they wouldn’t normally do.”

Getting into the site and setting up has taken a month. Getting out will take three weeks, a time scale that Pugh has insisted on.

“I’ve been able to persuade English Heritage and the Museums Trust that giving us more time to do it, steadily and carefully, will reduce the chance of anything happening,” he says, “The worst case scenario is people going in there mob-handed and trying too hard and doing things way too quickly.”

That will not happen with Pugh in charge. A York resident for nearly 15 years he is aware of what the Mystery Plays mean to the people of his city. They are deeply embedded in the city’s culture.

We had been speaking in the week leading up to the premiere. “People on the site have been saying how relaxed I look,” he said, smiling. “So it must be going well.”

York Mystery Plays run until august 27. The plays will be streamed live over the internet via The Space, the digital arts media service, thanks to Pilot Theatre and ACE funding.

Thanks Kevin!!

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

 

Music Act 2012

The 1st of october 2012 marks the start of the Music Act 2012 designed to ease the bureaucratic burden on smaller venues wanting to put on live music. In 2003 the new Licensing Act added extra regulation around entertainment. The Music Act 2012, 9 yrs later, is a response to pressure from the industry on both sides (musicians and venues).

This is widely considered to be great news for venues and musicians alike, and is hoped that it will local live music back at the heart of the country’s cultural life.

The MU have produced a useful little guide giving details about what this means for you if you run a venue. you can download the guide here

in a nutshell this act is for you if the following conditions apply:

  • you have fewer than 200 people in the audience for amplified live music.
  • or if the music is un-amplified (then there is no limit on audience size – apart from the obvious “i can’t hear you” being shouted from the back of your 1000 strong crowd)
  • Music can only take place between 8AM and 11PM.
  • and you have to be based in England or Wales.

There is of course some nuances to understand about what sort of venue / premises / workplace  you are. You could look at the full act here or contact your local licensing officer for further advice.

It is worth noting that your obligations around PRS, PLL and H&S all still apply.

 

As always (the small print bit) this blog post does not constitute legal advice, and is posted for info only! That said i’m happy to work with venues / promotors / musicians to better understand your licensing position or to ensure that you are understanding your obligations around H&S and so on. Do get in touch to discuss.

 

 

Krar Collective – NCEM

So i don’t know where else in York you are going find such a range of interesting, unexpected and high quality global artists!?

The NCEM, in their partnership with Making Tracks, have brought some great world music acts to the city over the last couple of years and continue to do so.

The Krar Collective on Friday 5 October at 7:30pm should be no exception. From the NCEM publicity:

Krar Collective perform a rootsy yet contemporary take on traditional music from Ethiopia based on other-worldy modes and driven by hypnotic rhythms. Led by krar virtuoso Temesegen Zeleke, a former star pupil of veteran Ethiopian legend Mulatu Astatke, fronted by the stunning, soaring voice of Genet Assefa and accompanied

by innovative drummer Amare Mulugeta, Krar Collective create a surprisingly big sound, leading one critic to name them ‘The Ethiopian White Stripes’. With a varied repertoire from gentle ballads to high-energy dance tunes, Krar Collective is set to surprise and delight.

‘Spine tingling stuff’ Fly Global Music

 

Making Tracks

A travelling season of concerts bringing the newest and most exciting music from around the globe to 12 major music venues in the UK.’ 

The NCEM in York are offering a buy one get one free offer on the following Making Tracks co-promotions:

Krar Collective Friday 5 October 2012

Melingo Thursday 8 November 2012

Yiddish Twist Orchestra 26 February 2013

Johanna Juhola 16 April 2013

Buy one full price ticket for any of these four concerts and get one other of these four concerts free. This offer is valid on full price tickets only. You will need to book the two concerts at the same time to take advantage of this deal, by phoning the Box Office on (01904) 658338.

 

The world famous Mysore Brothers in York

It would be impossible to write about all the amazing stuff that goes on in York, but from time to time things come across my radar that need sharing!

On Sunday 23rd September at 4PM India’s greatest violinist duo, the Mysore Brothers, perform in the UK for the first time.

The gig at the National Centre for Early Music is a rare opportunity to hear Carnatic music performed at its very best.

The NCEM provides the perfect setting for this intimate concert. Full details can be found – ncem.co.uk

You can read more about the artist here

 

 

The Little Festival of Everything

The Little Festival of Everything Returns to North Yorkshire this June.

I was lucky enough to catch the last iteration of this great event as a punter. Well worth supporting if you are in the vicinity:

here is some blurb from their press release:

Last November a small village in North Yorkshire innovated a grand idea that saw the local community, its 17th century pub and local theatre company, The Flanagan Collective, pull together to create a unique and special weekend festival. After a hugely successful launch, the second ‘The Little Festival of Everything’ weekend is back at The Fauconberg Arms, Coxwold from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 June. The pub will again play host to over 50 acts made up of actors, children’s entertainers, storytellers, singers and performers in a jam packed free festival that aims to bring the best entertainment from around the UK to this beautiful North Yorkshire setting.

‘The Little Festival of Everything’ was conceived last year by local theatre company The Flanagan Collective, spearheaded by Alexander Wright, who has enjoyed success in the performing arts as Artistic Director of Belt Up Theatre and is currently Associate Director on The York Mystery Plays with York Theatre Royal. Alexander, 24 and originally from Coxwold was motivated to created a new business model for a unique rural arts festival, where performers could use the experience to try out new work in a country retreat and the audience could participate, watch and enjoy the experience for free. The success of the November weekend in Coxwold has meant that ‘LittleFest’ is now being rolled out to Southill Park, Bracknell in July and at this year’s Edinburgh Festival. The model works because all performers receive expenses that will be covered by sponsorship, but they all agree to come to the festival without an additional fee as they will use the experience as a testing ground for new work, have a lovely weekend in a beautiful setting with like minded peers, and they all genuinely want to be part of this new venture. The residents of Coxwold have again offered up their spare rooms and will host the performers for the weekend. This allows the whole festival to be free for audiences and it is hoped that families, visitors and locals will experience many events across the weekend.

Simon Rheinberg, proprietor of the pub says; “Having an arts festival of this calibre in a village pub is unique. The free entry was a very important objective as it fits in with the general atmosphere of being in a pub. People can spend as long as they want there, eat and drink at anytime throughout the day.’ Alexander believes the festival has a strong line-up of acts which will be performing in and around the premises of The Fauconberg Arms, “We have again gathered the best people from near and far to come and set up shop in the pub. We have returning storytellers, theatre makers, poets, musicians, writers, cabaret artists as well as new performers who heard about last years festival and wanted to get involved.” The festival, which will run over the weekend of the 22nd,23rd and 24th June has been set up to appeal to all ages and interests, Alexander notes; “There are things for the adventurous, for the daring, for the quiet and for the inquisitive.There are things that will surprise you, move you, challenge you and excite you but everything will welcome you with open arms.” Some of the best artists from across the country will be in attendance.

Lots of the companies that attended in November will return including; award winning cabaret artist Damsel Sophie, Pilot Theatre, performance poet Henry Raby, children’s theatre company Tucked In, folk band Holy Moly and the Crackers, local musician Alun Nixon, Hannah Davies and Essex based company Shady Jane. The Festival has also attracted a number of new companies such as renowned London based collective Shunt, York comedy duo Bush and McClusky, comedian Chris Stokes, children’s storytelling company Mud Pie Arts, Easingwold’s Gobbledigook Theatre to name but a few. This Summer festival will make more of the beautiful outdoor space at the pub with a family storytelling area and intimate events in the summer house, plus on the Sunday morning there will be a vintage and craft fair to accompany the family events taking place. Simon Rheinberg underlines the importance of being an anomaly in the industry as many UK public houses struggle to survive the ongoing credit crunch. “We want to build on the success and reputation of last year’s festival and by programming arts events with The Flanagan Collective we will attract new visitors to Coxwold and we look forward to welcoming them alongside our locals for another exciting weekend,” he says. “We see it as a great opportunity to bring artists, residents and visitors together to drink, eat and be entertained.” David Shields Area Director for Welcome to Yorkshire, who supported the Festival in November said: “We are proud to support this brand new festival which will transform the village of Coxwold into a theatrical wonderland for one weekend only! We would urge visitors to come along and support this fantastic festival which will see performers, actors and musicians take over the Fauconberg Arms to put on a series of free events. We are sure it will be a fun-packed weekend for all the family.”

For more information and a full programme listing please visit www.littlefest.co.uk.

Mind the Gap head out to the moors

Months and months of planning are coming together for Jez Colborne and the team at Mind the Gap this week (21-23 June 2012) as Irresistible takes place at the Cow and Calf quarry. I’ve been supporting this project as the creative producer and, without bias i can say that it promises to be a great event (as long as the weather holds out! *bp crosses all available extremities*)

If you’ve not booked yet take a look at – http://www.mind-the-gap.org.uk/irresistible/

Irresistible is a symphony of sirens set within the rural beauty of the Cow & Calf on Ilkley Moor. It’s a large-scale musical experience that combines warning sirens and choral music with projections on rock faces and dramatic lighting to create a breathtaking and once-in-a-life-time experience.

Featuring a cast of more than 30 actors and musicians, Irresistible includes seven new songs inspired not only by sirens but by blues, country, rap and hip hop. It promises to be a musical mix that will tell a story through music, movement, drama and light.

We did an R&D showing back in October of 2010 which wowed the culture team from the Olympics so we get to take the show down to the National Theatre, South Bank Centre and the Liberty Festival in September too – watch out for news on these dates.

Hope to see you in Ilkley!