Brighton Early Music Festival calls for help as it switches online

Organisers of the new proposed online version of the Brighton Early Music Festival are calling for help with the planning.

artistic director Deborah Roberts
artistic director Deborah Roberts

BREMF is looking to go digital for 2020 amid the coronavirus crisis.

As artistic director Deborah Roberts says: “The current COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink how we can best present Brighton Early Music Festival this year.

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“Uncertainty around how things will develop over the coming months, potential anxiety about attending public events even if restrictions on social mixing are fully lifted by October, plus the understandable re-focusing of funding sources towards crisis response, means that we cannot risk attempting to stage the festival we were planning.”

Instead they have decided to launch a digital festival this year: [email protected] – across the EARTH!, a number of individually devised broadcasts, merging musical performance with film, images, animation and documentary presentation.

Each programme will be premiered on YouTube at a fixed date and time, but will be available to view for a week afterwards so that audiences, including those in different time zones, can watch when convenient.

So now the planning begins.

“We’ll be able to bring you more details of the events we’re planning over the coming weeks, but in the meantime, here are four ways you can help.

“We are hoping that before too long we can start work filming for [email protected]

“We are keen to use a variety of interesting locations in and around Sussex but will be working on a very tight budget. Can you help us? If you, or someone you know, owns or has access to any of the following types of buildings, rooms or places, and would be prepared to let us use them for a day once it is safe to do so (preferably free of charge beyond expenses), we would be very grateful. In some cases it might be a case of knowing about a rather wonderful place with free access: an old rustic barn, an elegant period drawing room, a wildflower meadow, a traditional farmyard, a field with old breeds of sheep, a traditional rural cottage garden or a flowing stream.”

You can also lend your skills.

“BREMF is hugely lucky to have a dedicated family of over 80 volunteers who usually help out with publicity, behind the scenes, and at events. We’re always keen to hear from new volunteers, but this year in particular we are really keen to add new volunteers with digital skills. So if you know about filming, film-editing, YouTube, digital marketing or similar and are looking for a new and/or charitable way to use those skills, please get in touch with us at [email protected] We’re also really keen to hear from existing volunteers with these skills too!”

BREMF are also urging you to subscribe to them on YouTube: “The impact of our digital edition will be so much stronger if we can reach out to a wide audience, including people who haven’t come across the Festival before. We are really keen to use 2020 as a year of worldwide growth so that we come out of this crisis stronger than before and one of the ways we can make sure our content reaches a wide audience is by building up our YouTube subscribers to 1,000 and beyond. Thank you to everyone who subscribed following our last newsletter, but if you haven’t yet, please do head over to our YouTube channel and click the red subscribe button underneath the header photo.”

Finally, they would like you to become a Friend of BREMF and commit to a regular annual donation: “Becoming a Friend is a great way to feel part of the BREMF family, and to be the first to know about new developments,. We’re currently devising a new set of benefits for our digital edition, which will be focused around giving our Friends behind the scenes access to the artists and processes which make up the Festival.”


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