Juice Festival 2015

Juice Festival is a festival for families and under-25s taking place in NewcastleGateshead during the October half term. The festival is unique in engaging thousands of young people in the regional, and having its own organisational team of under-25s who lead and assist on various areas of the festival.

I came into the festival at an exciting time, tasked with commissioning a rebrand for the festival. Having been seen primarily as a family friendly festival in the past eight years (or so), the aim was to making something a which didn’t seem too childish and appealed to a more targeted demographic whilst also keeping the same audiences on board.

I got to be very involved in the exciting process of accepting tenders for a new brand identity and appointing a creative design studio. It was incredible to see the vast amount of work each invited studio committed to what was essentially an audition. After a very difficult but considered decision process, we appointed Solution Group who had developed a very visually stimulating and appropriate identity.

The festival relies on the support and collaboration of many partner venues and organisations, so it was quite an achievement on behalf of the festival organisers to have such a variety of events and exhibitions across multiple art forms and genres during the festival week. One example I am particular proud of is a collaboration with Family Arts Festival and Family Explorers North East in commissioning a print map of things to do in NewcastleGateshead during October half term 2015.

Whether i’m working in my position next October or not, I’ll be looking to get more involve with the festival in some capacity. Maybe I’ll aim to programme something film/photo related.

See more at juicefestival.co.uk.

Conversion Festival

The first major festival in my current job was Conversion Festival - celebrating rugby, art and culture in Newcastle. Of course, this ran alongside the Rugby World Cup visiting Newcastle from 3-11 October; but we couldn’t say that. So that was an interesting aspect.

Conversion Festival was a programme of activity and things to see and do alongside RWC2015 in Newcastle. It was all absolutely free and designed to entertain the masses visiting the city during the rugby. As well as being able to work on some official RWC2015 items, working on this cultural event was particularly special.

Back in August, we worked with a fantastic design company who created the brand identity. Taking influence from the competing nations who would be playing in Newcastle, the branding created by Sheridan Design suitably reflected the vibrant programme of performance, dance and music.

Seeing something I had worked on to commission appear on adverts around the city and in magazines was really special, and being a part of the process was truly eye opening. 

Rugby World Cup took place in England in September - October 2015. Three games were played in Newcastle. South Africa v Scotland (Sat 3 Oct), New Zealand v Tonga (Fri 9 Oct) and Scotland v Samoa (Sat 10 Oct).

Newcastle Pride

Super late, I think pride was back in July. But i’ve been busy so I’m sure you’ll excuse me.

In July I attended Newcastle Pride. It’s the first time I’ve come across pride in a city that I lived in (or at least the first time i’d been aware of it) and when it’s somewhere this large, it’s quite an occasion. 

Just as the cynic in me was considering how important it actually is to have a parade through the city where people line the streets to observe and cheer, a man from Nigeria approaches me to ask what was happening. He’d never come across Pride, which is a fairly regular occurrence in cities throughout the world, and was quite taken aback that gay men and women would parade openly in the street. In fact, the notion of gay women was new to him also. I like to think I put across a positive message, and sincerely hope that he didn’t take offence to the days festivities.

Although I originally intended to photograph some of the more extravagant and colourful characters, I had a much better time speaking to and engaging with the people featured here. There were plenty of people with expensive cameras and more expensive lenses photographing as if on safari, from a distance and with fingers firmly pressed on the shutter. 

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