Well, what a festival! Yet again, we are so grateful for everyone who was involved in this year’s festival – there are so many volunteers and people behind the scenes that it would just not be possible to carry on without.
Of course, the standard of music this year was as exemplary as ever with so many wonderful comments from audience members.
We must rest for a few days before planning 2018 – keep an eye out for news announcing next year’s programme!
I can’t be the only Artistic Director to be so consumed by the build-up to an arts event that no matter how hard you try, sleep seems to be a bit thin on the ground. Not that it matters because you can make up for it afterwards – and I certainly do in spade-loads. A bath armed with a good book is a luxury, as is sitting in front of the fire glued to Bake Off (with supper perched on knees), not to mention walking the dog and seeing one’s friends. These are all lacking currently but would one have it differently? No of course not; this is all part and parcel of what running a festival is about and particularly the Two Moors that is unlike any other in Britain.
There is a wonderful passion attached to this event. This has been present from the outset when my late husband, John and I set it up as an antidote following the devastation caused by Foot and Mouth disease. Since then it has blossomed into a national festival of which – and I am not afraid to say – he and I were (and I am) justifiably proud. It is our dedication and commitment that have manifested themselves and has spread to our audience members who come year on year showing their devotion to the type of concert that is offered to them. The Trustees have also shown their love of the organization and but for them and their sheer hard work, the festival would not be where it is today. It’s worth bearing in mind that all members of the Board are busy people who give up inordinate amounts of time to keep it afloat; who put forward ideas to make sure it continues to develop, offer opinions on whether it steers along the right course and to use their influence on broadening our horizons.
With only two weeks to go before kick-off, keeping an eye on ticket sales is very important (they are currently most encouraging) and it’s always interesting to see the surprises along the way. Some concerts that you least expect to, sell overnight while others you think are going to have a capacity audience, don’t fare well at all. Strange how the public mind works! Inevitably there are one or two who whinge at the prices. They don’t realise that their seat would cost in the region of £85 were there no sponsorship. They never stop to think that the cost of going to a football match would work out to be far more expensive!
Almost the last thing on the ‘must do’ list before opening night is to galvanise the press into action. The amount of work this entails is vast. Social media comes into its own these days and if you don’t do it, you’re really sunk. One Tweet can, when spread, reach thousands of people. Even if no one purchases a ticket, the profile enhancement is worth ££££££s. Both the national and regional press have to be bombarded with articles in hopes they will be printed near the front of the paper rather than alongside, say, the motoring section. BBC Radio 3, and our super media partner, Classic FM, are great at mentioning the festival on air and of course, we spread flyers to any shop of pub that will have them.
So it’s a case of wait and see and hope that this year’s music-making will give a thrill to those listening as it has previously. It will be wonderful if does then I can have my longed-for bath!!
At this year’s Two Moors Festival main-two week event, taking place between October 15th-25th, we will be putting on a series of interesting talks as well as classical music, all relating to Devon – where the festival takes place every year.
This time around, we’re holding a talk on the history of the Exmoor pony at Dulverton’s Exmoor Pony Centre on October 19th with an outdoor tour of the centre (weather permitting, of course!). In case you’re unfamiliar with these beautiful creatures, they are one of the last native breeds of pony to be found roaming wild in Britain and, year after year, prove to be a big draw for people coming to the area. Everyone wants to see them on a holiday to Devon!
Make sure you keep your eyes well peeled for these majestic beasts as you travel from church to church in October, going to and from the different Two Moors Festival concerts, but if you’re in Exmoor before then you could also make sure you attend the Exmoor Pony Festival 2014.
Taking place between August 9th and 17th, the event includes herd open days, safaris, lovely long walks in the Devon countryside, shows and rides – so it’s the perfect opportunity to acquaint yourself with the Exmoor pony before coming along to our talk in October.
The Two Moors event is free (although you will need to reserve a ticket) and there will be a collection, with all donations going towards the festival’s education programme. We’d love to see you there, so do include the date in your diary.
If you’d like to find out more about this year’s Two Moors Festival programme and to order a brochure, please visit our website today.