Little moments of joy

Projection on cargo truck
09 Jun 2021

While audiences are most comfortable returning to outdoor events, organising a festival that can flex around ever-changing restrictions is still no mean feat. Penny Mills and Jonathan Goodacre have been looking at what’s working.

Coventry 2021: City of Culture is open for business

Coventry city of culture shop
19 May 2021

Despite all the difficulties of the past year, Jake Bartle and Emily Coleman are confident that this year’s festival will be a celebration of artistic achievement and are welcoming visitors with open arms.

The future of festivals with 5G

photo taken inside Brighton Dome during 5G festival
20 Jul 2021

Brighton Dome has been participating in 5G Festival trials to test new technology that could revolutionise the festival experience. Donna Close shares the findings. 

Masks to stay in arts venues as Stage 4 opening confirmed

13 Jul 2021

The Government "expect and recommend" masks in enclosed public spaces - and cultural venues are taking the lead.

Coventry 2021 weighs options around social distancing

08 Jul 2021

The City of Culture must take audiences' comfort into account, its Creative Director says, as the upcoming change to restrictions opens the door to larger in-person events.

Who can dance?

Promotional poster for the National Youth Dance Festival 2021
06 Jul 2021

As the U.Dance National Festival returns in an online format this month, Cameron Ball shares how the event connects the nation’s young dancers with the best in the industry.

Half of 2021 festivals have been cancelled

02 Jul 2021

The "unfortunate milestone" is the result of delays to reopening, silence over insurance and a dearth of new guidance that pilot events were meant to provide.

A window on the world of Arab culture

photo of dancer Natalie Salsa
22 Jun 2021

2021 marks 10 years of Shubbak – London’s largest biennial festival of contemporary Arab culture. Eckhard Thiemann charts a turbulent decade.

WOW goes virtual

photo of Jude Kelly speaking at Women of the World
22 Jun 2021

Jude Kelly shares how a group dedicated to the experience of live congregational events transformed into techies in a two-month turnaround.

The essence of a festival is congregation

My Light Shines on laser beams
09 Jun 2021

With artists no longer able to travel freely across Europe post-Brexit, and with no sign of the Covid pandemic abating, Francesca Hegyi explores the challenges of trying to stage an international festival in the UK.

Bringing Manchester back to life

People sitting in tables outside in Manchester
09 Jun 2021

With the re-opening of outdoor festivals around the UK, John McGrath shares his thoughts on creating a responsible and safe festival that both responds to Covid limitations and offers a true artistic and community experience.

Countering the narratives

MFest logo
09 Jun 2021

Muslim communities are regularly assailed by poor generalisations and by impoverished stories written by ‘someone else’, which are not just mediocre but harmful, writes Raheel Mohammed.

Coventry 2021: the city where movement began, moves again 

A group of young people dancing outside
09 Jun 2021

The festival season may look a bit different this year, but Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture is underway. Jake Bartle and Emily Coleman talk us through the summer programme of fun, creative events and exhibitions that the city is experiencing.

'Red alert': One quarter of festivals cancelled

07 May 2021

The first wave of festival cancellations is the canary in the coal mine as Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage says insurance is "still on the table".

Outdoor arts bring creativity to communities

Dancer pictured mid flight
04 May 2021

Hannah Hartley says the outdoor arts industry’s long-held resilience and versatility has given them the tools to overcome nearly anything, just when it’s needed the most. 

'Market failure' in events insurance must be addressed, sector says

15 Apr 2021

If the Government is confident in getting events back by June 21, it shouldn't hesitate to extend insurance beyond its pilot programme. 

Festival UK 2022 rejects critics' claims of nationalism

01 Apr 2021

Critics call Festival UK 2022 "nationalistic imperialism" and "a showcase for the Government". The creatives involved say that couldn't be further from the truth.

No insurance scheme while events remain uncertain

26 Mar 2021

DCMS Minister Caroline Dinenage says the much-vaunted measure runs the risk of giving false confidence to festivals: "I just wouldn't be prepared to do that."

Ten teams selected for Festival 2022

Rama and Sita lit up in fireworks
26 Mar 2021

Following a £3m research and development phase, diverse teams of artists, scientists and engineers will receive £10m each to bring their "showstopping" ideas to life.

Does Festival UK*2022 offer a blueprint for arts commissioning?

Screenshot from Festival UK* 2022 promotional video
24 Mar 2021

Writer-in-residence Francesca Millican-Slater reflects on the Festival's intensive R&D period - an experiment, she believes, in how tendering could be developed.  

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