Make your own fun
curiosity + bravery = connection
ABOUT DIY FESTIVALs
We all love a festival. Every summer it's the Festival of Sydney. And then it's the Blue Mountains Music Festival and Sydney Writers Festival. Dark Mofo in Hobart at the winter solstice. FODI and Ideas at the House. Food Festivals, music festivals, choir festivals - it's all good stuff. But we go to these things and mostly we just witness what others do. We admire rather than make. We listen rather than perform. We eat rather than cook. We read rather than write.
DIY Festivals are a whole different beast.
You are the Festival director. Your friends and family - whoever you invite - are the performers. Everyone who comes makes a contribution. Reading a poem, telling stories and singing songs around a campfire, running a workshop, giving a talk, teaching a skill, playing a game, showing an exhibition... making a ruckus. Whatever else it is, a DIY Festival is a grassroots wunderkämmer of ritual and merrymaking created by the punters.
You don't scramble online to buy tickets - you build it with care in your own backyard. It's slow. It takes time, both to plan it and hold it. You are building community, strengthening friendships, deepening your self-knowledge and expanding your empathy for others ( It's all very Platonic and eudaimonic.)
A DIY Festival is heartfelt. To participate is to take a leap of faith. To be brave and vulnerable. But that's exactly why it's so rewarding. Because you feel closer to the people there. You are in it together. It's scary and hard and easy and fun. It expands your mind and your heart and it feeds your spirit. I reckon it can change lives.
This is how DIY festivals work
DIY Festivals build skills and confidence. They knit communities together. They are challenging. They are a safe place to take a good risk.
DIY Festivals are what Teddy Roosevelt called 'the arena.' *
'It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. '
* Thanks Brené Brown, for seizing on this speech to talk about the way there is no creativity without vulnerability.
The first ever prototype DIY festival
The first ever prototype DIY festival was inspired by the Day of the Dead. This festival was a chance to explore the notion of death, to break some taboos, to get playful and vulnerable, whimsical and serious. It was a challenging first festival, but really amazing. Check out the FIRST EVER DIY FESTIVAL page to see how it went down.