Freestyle Burbage is different

The usual way

festivalmodel1Most festivals, events etc are organised this way. There is a committee to make plans and decisions, raise money and manage or direct the events.

They have volunteers who help the committee, help run events, possibly deal with venues and run events.

The programme is decided by the committee, and often consists of many ‘bought-in’ performers, workshop leaders etc, which the local community pay to be audiences for.

Some issues with this model


  • they tend to keep the same committee members year after year (and the perception of it being a ‘closed shop’ deters new people from joining)
  • they re-book the same acts
  • they re-use the same venues

Deadly embrace with funders

  • the festival changes to please the sponsors
  • the festival changes to fit grant providers’ criteria
  • fundraising becomes an end in itself


Bigger is seen as better, so…

  • bigger (more famous and more expensive) acts are booked
  • bigger audiences (to buy more tickets) are attracted
  • community involvement reduces and becomes more passive


The Freestyle Burbage way

festivalmodel2Freestyle Burbage is more inclusive, more participative and  more democratic. It is more like organised anarchy with the absolute minimum of hierarchy and no formal committee.

The ideas for Freestyle Burbage events come from anywhere and everywhere. Absolutely anybody can put ideas into the “Ideas Foundry”. The ideas can be silly, impracticable, vague, half-baked or completely baked.

Anybody and everybody can take ideas from the Ideas Foundry and either suggest a few tweaks or turn them into workable plans for events. Or they can suggest completely new ideas based on the ones already there.

Anybody who wants to turn an idea (or group of ideas) into an event can form an “event team” to work out the details and make all the necessary arrangements with venues etc.

There are separate teams to support…

  • fundraising / financial control
  • publicity and media
  • venue procurement and liaison
  • site/venue preparation
  • event stewarding
  • site/venue cleanup
  • transport

Event teams can call on any or all of these teams for help.

Some issues with this model

This way of doing things has some issues of its own, such as…

  • keeping the momentum going for crowdfunding
  • designing suitable rewards to encourage funding at low cost
  • keeping the momentum going for new ideas
  • maximising involvement and outreach using all channels (not just internet)
  • motivating and organising the initial teams
  • balancing control and scope against freedom and creativity
    • keeping to original aims
    • funding, publicity, branding
    • insurance, permissions, health & safety concerns

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The free community arts and events project for the whole of Burbage, celebrating our community and our creative spirit.