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festival stress

 
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Are large-scale shakuhachi festivals useful for the promotion and proliferation of the shakuhachi in general?
Absolutely!
66%
 66%  [ 6 ]
In some ways.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Undecided.
22%
 22%  [ 2 ]
No
11%
 11%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 9

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Jeff Cairns
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PostPosted: 2013-01-05, 04:08    Post subject: festival stress Reply with quote

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Large-scale shakuhachi festivals seem to be something the international shakuhachi community wants/needs/expects. Aside from organizational work, generating money is also a very big part of the problems in pulling off a successful festival. In the experience of any who have undertaken such a task whether shakuhachi related or not, a couple of questions to start:

1. does the majority of funding for such large scale festivals generally come from commercial and private support, and if so, how much does the presence of commercial interests change the outcome of the festival at the end of the day?
2. why would organizational committees create more stress than is needed?
3. how can the deleterious effects of stress be averted by single-handed organizers of our festivals?
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2013-01-05, 04:59    Post subject: festival stress Reply with quote

1. does the majority of funding for such large scale festivals generally come from commercial and private support, and if so, how much does the presence of commercial interests change the outcome of the festival at the end of the day?

Sponsorship would alleviate a lot of the stress on these "festivals".


2. why would organizational committees create more stress than is needed?

Best model for a festival is benevolent dictatorship. One person curating and a team under him/her contributing ideas and work.

3. how can the deleterious effects of stress be averted by single-handed organizers of our festivals?

I think one of the problems here is calling it "Festival". It should be called "Conference" or "Convention" because that's more like what it is. Kurahashi did the right thing financially by charging people to perform. This is the way it works in scientific conferences for example. Only Stephen Hawking or other draw cards get paid. Other convention presenters and attendees are expected to float it with attendance fees. But people like to think of it as a festival. Until the general public starts attending in greater numbers than the actual shakuhachi players, it should be considered a Conference or Convention even if people want to call it "Festival" for feel-good reasons.

I heard about a lot of disgruntled shakuhachi players who were miffed because they didn't get paid to perform. AS IF any of them would draw a crowd. Bannir

Calling it a Conference or Convention would get rid of at least that stress. Dealing with people's unwarranted expectations.
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Jeff Cairns
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PostPosted: 2013-01-05, 05:40    Post subject: festival stress Reply with quote

Excellent comments Brian. I totally agree with your idea of a name change. And the model of performers paying is the way it works in almost all medium to large scale hogaku concerts here in Japan. If we didn't do that, these events wouldn't be held. All of that being said, Kurahashi sensei still suffered an a benevolent dictator as I know did others in other events. Changing the mind-set of attendees is necessary, but the sponsorship situation is typically a public-awareness situation. Shakuhachi doesn't interest the public generally and therefore generally doesn't interest commercial sponsorship. However, commercial sponsorship could certainly influence public interest.
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JF Lagrost
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PostPosted: 2013-01-05, 13:27    Post subject: festival stress Reply with quote

Brian Tairaku Ritchie wrote:
I think one of the problems here is calling it "Festival". It should be called "Conference" or "Convention" because that's more like what it is.

That's interesting. Paris' ESS event in 2015, hosted by Paris-Sorbonne University, will certainly be called "Convention" and organized on the model of a scientific conference.

Jeff Cairns wrote:
Shakuhachi (...) doesn't interest commercial sponsorship

Disagree! Tepco would surely love to use the image of the shakuhachi for a great operation of greenwashing! Bannir
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Jeff Cairns
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PostPosted: 2013-01-05, 14:00    Post subject: festival stress Reply with quote

JF, do you have some kind of link to that?
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JF Lagrost
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PostPosted: 2013-01-05, 17:00    Post subject: festival stress Reply with quote

There's nothing online about Paris 2015 for now, we're just starting organizing the event. It should take place in early July, in an recent building of the University (the auditorium is still under construction!)
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Rick Riekert
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PostPosted: 2013-01-05, 19:35    Post subject: festival stress Reply with quote

I think "symposium" is better than "conference" or "convention". "Symposium" is stodgy enough not to raise unwarranted expectations, while historically and etymologically it denotes a convivial meeting for drinking, music, and discussion, usually in that order.
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J. Danza
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PostPosted: 2013-01-05, 20:09    Post subject: festival stress Reply with quote

I ran a Sacred Music Festival in Vancouver for four years. Based on my experience:
1) sponsorship is fundamental, and if the "Festival" has a strong cultural edge, there's always interest out there, but money is tough to "squeeze" out of the corporate world. Someone in the team needs to be a good "salesman/woman". We interested airlines and made sure most artist flew in them, same with hotels, and had a beautiful program promoting our sponsors.
2) fully agree with Brian. One good idea backed by a solid team works... A bunch of opinions disagreeing with each other slows down the process painfully... In our Festival we had two "benevolent dictators", myself for the artistic end and an amazing power woman on the organizational/business end.
3) the organizers need to be well connected and liked in the community so they can attract a great team of volunteers. The volunteers are what makes or breaks a Festival. They need clear leadership, respect, care, and perks.
Regarding artists paying I beg to disagree. I had no problem playing for free in Kyoto, but after a thirty five year career, paying to play is a stretch. A properly organized Festival may not be able to pay performers, but it certainly shouldn't put economic stress on them.
As far as what to call it, I would stick to Festival. Festival denotes the word "festive", and organizers should make sure it's a fun as well as entertaining, educational, and uplifting event. While I agree that events like these will attract mostly Shakuhachi enthusiasts, they will still attract a certain degree of the general public, and hopefully it will expand the interest in the instrument and it's music. If you change the name to symposium or such, you pretty well eliminate the casual participation of the general public.
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2013-01-05, 23:23    Post subject: festival stress Reply with quote

Well one thing is for sure, the personality of these WSF's reflects the spirit of the main organiser or organisers. And we'll be fortunate to experience these different perspectives as we attend the various festivals through the years. With the next ones in Europe and China for the first time we can certainly say they are spreading shakuhachi throughout the world. I'd be happy if it happened every year or every two years.
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fredr1c
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PostPosted: 2013-01-06, 15:45    Post subject: festival stress Reply with quote

From my perspective as a brand-new shakuhachi learner, past World Shakuhachi Festivals have been very useful. All the accounts and pictures provided by festival attendees on web forums and blog pages gave me a feel for this world community and helped inspire me to pick up the instrument, even though I've never attended these gatherings myself. What's true for me may also be true for others, now and in the future.
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Daniel Ryudo
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PostPosted: 2013-03-30, 02:48    Post subject: festival stress Reply with quote

Which festival had the most commercial sponsorship? Was it the one in Colorado? Colorado and I'm guessing Sydney had the most events catering to the general public in addition to the main audience of shakuhachi players. I remember going to concerts in Colorado held in a natural history museum, a library, and a planetarium, some cool locations where the shakuhachi could be heard by the public. I had non-shakuhachi playing friends in New York and Sydney who attended concerts at those festivals and really enjoyed them. On the other hand, when the festivals were held in Tokyo and Kyoto they were almost exclusively aimed at the shakuhachi playing community. I know the status of the shakuhachi as an "exotic" instrument outside of Japan perhaps brings in more of a crowd but I had friends in Kyoto who knew nothing of the event and said that some Kyoto people would have been definitely interested if they had heard more information about it. The only non-shakuhachi related attendees I met in Kyoto were a couple of women who had just been walking by Myoan-ji -- they listened to playing there and heard about the next day's events at the Kyoto Arts Center and then attended those. I thought they were not from Japan as they started clapping at the end of a performance at Myoan-ji but it turned out they were sightseers from Osaka.
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