… what it takes to keep the show on the road

EskFest Woodland Stage

You might think Artful Ways is all about leisurely strolls, but sometimes they’re not so slow! At EskFest when festival manager Emmie Coxey tracked her route with the i-Phone App, it revealed a very busy pattern on the map. In just over 1 hour Emmie covered more than two miles and created a track that looks completely frenetic – and a bit like Scrat from Ice Age scratching his chin … just goes to show how much work is involved in keeping a creative show like EskFest going. Emmie was continually on her feet, ear piece in place to receive messages from other members of the team, and phone in hand, making sure everything was running smoothly and everyone was happy.

We also gave the ‘tracking’ phone to organiser Tom Smith – and he was just as busy. Including a quick drive half a mile down the road to pick something up, he covered 3.7 miles in 1 hour 16 minutes.

We did once see Emmie sitting down, but apart from that these two, and the other staff and volunteers, were almost constantly active, and the festival was buzzing with music from bands and solo artists. The non-stop team included Evie Plumb, who also performed 3 times, including the Saturday night headline slot. That’s what’s needed to keep the show on the road!

And their dedication paid off. It’s thanks to them that EskFest could go ahead this year, and it brought a huge amount of joy to everyone who was there. After so long without live music or the shared pleasure of dancing, being able to do this in the beautiful surroundings of the Eskdale Valley, was like medicine for the soul. The festival is beautifully small, and really champions musical talent from Cumbria and the north.

While we were there we took a few walks, created on-the-spot poetry with a group beside the River Esk, and we collected words and phrases from people inspired by the themes of Creativity, Connectivity and Place which Harriet will be bringing together to build a poem for EskFest. This will be emerging in the next few weeks, and we’ll be combining it with a stitched-together audio track of recordings made during the festival.

Now we’re thinking … is it too soon to book a ticket for next year?! If you’re tempted, here’s the EskFest website.

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