Well, that was an experience! Performing as part of the DIY Poets collective in the show A DIY Poetry Fix at Banshee Labyrinth, at prime slot of 8.15pm between 10 – 16 August was exhilarating, exhausting, exciting and a first for me.
Having previously attended the festival, and flitted around trying to see as much as possible in a short space of time, I was aware how much there is to do and see during the festival season. Now, having now seen it from the other side, I see how much work it is for all involved; performers, promoters, flyerers, never stop. Kudos to those that survive a solo show!
My sets seemed to go down well, opening as I did with questions for the audience. ‘Will you dance with me? Will you swim with me? Will you hold me and laugh with me?’ it was encouraging to hear a YES! from the back row. I also had the privilege of compering the final performance to the packed crowd on the Friday night. Great fun.
DIY Poets have been instrumental in my poetry journey. They were the first to give me a platform to perform back in 2013, and I became a regular member later that year. A brilliant supportive group that arrange a variety of local events, and are thoroughly involved in the local literary scene. Not that we stop at the county lines! DIY Poets, as well as Edinburgh Festival, have performed at Buxton Fringe Festival, Off the Shelf festival in Sheffield and Splendour Festival, to name but a few.
Back to Edinburgh, what did I learn? 1) Don’t use Flybe if you need to be somewhere by a certain time. 2) Flyering is really important. Target your audiences and get your event details out there. 3) Teamwork is the key to success. Whether in terms of sharing the organising, of accommodation, publicity, knowledge, tips, or just mutual support for fellow artists. It’s a lot easier with a team. Thank you DIYers. Here’s to the next poetic adventure.