If you have ever been to St Martins, 28 miles SW off the coast of Cornwall, on the Isles of Scilly; you will no doubt have been astounded by the beauty of the white sandy beaches, marveled at the tranquility and just generally been taken aback that such a place exists 15 minutes plane-ride from the British Mainland.
I also thought it would be a great place for an arts festival.
For years this didn't really seem possible, until around 2014; with plans for the re-opening of the island hotel and pub starting to surface, a new Community Hall under construction, the Island Partnership solidifying local business infrastructure and a chance meeting of minds, everything seemed to fit into place. The first Daymark Festival was born in 2015 and the result was stupendous; a weekend of smiles, craic, seriously talented local/Mainland bands and general disbelief that one was watching this all happening on a tiny (population 140) sub-tropical island in the middle of the Atlantic.
One thing was very clear, though; it needed a kickstart, a buffer of funds, and this became extremely apparent when an early Easter in 2016, coupled with a three-day storm rendered our little island, well, an island - with little travel to or from St Martins over the whole weekend. Luckily the festival had attracted plenty of punters to stay on the island and the locals made sure it was a success. However, after 2 years of personal funding, the strain was apparent and a slightly different model adopted.
Daymark Festival is currently registering for Community Interest Company status.
That's where you come in. We understand that we have a great festival, with a phenomenal location and eye-wateringly talented performers on view. We also have great local sponsors (no corporate!), venues, volunteers and unbreakable desire to make this festival something for the world to enjoy. This creates the chance for us to offer you to be part of our little bundle of joy and own some pretty serious design into the bargain. Some say that the Isles of Scilly are the UK's best kept secret; supporting our community festival by owning Teresa Moreira's designs is about as exclusive as you can get.
All the best,
Risks and challenges
The main challenges are those associated with our remoteness - we're pretty much out there but that also means there's no Tesco. From the outset, one of the festival aims was to get people onto our little island. We have seen a marked increase in ticket pre-sales over the last three years which demonstrates that the advance marketing is gaining traction. As well as ensuring that the island is as full as possible, we also enable as many day-trippers can attend by working with the local boatmen, with travel available during the day as well as the evening.
The ethos of the festival is inclusion; using and showcasing the wealth of talent we have living on the Isles of Scilly, whilst, simultaneously bringing entertainment here for the community to enjoy. Providing a platform for local artists and societies to utilise revenue streams helps to ensure a strong community base and the working knowledge that comes with that. We live and work on a remote island all-year-round and are acutely aware of the parameters/limitations, so are also used to contingency as well as working within our means.
It really is much more fun than it sounds.....Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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