dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
European arts festival from your sofa
Birmingham-based BE FESTIVAL has announced it will be a 'stay at home' online event this summer. The annual festival, which showcases the best of European performing and visual arts, will take place on virtual platforms between May 7-16.
Created by BE FESTIVAL directors, Isla Aguilar and Miguel Oyarzun, BE at HOME FESTIVAL will explore how artists can present work within the context of the current lockdown. Featuring live performance in isolation, it will include theatre for an audience of one and a circus performance from an artist's living room as well as films and talks.
And, following the format of every annual BE FESTIVAL, audiences will be able to join in with the festival's trademark communal dining experience in their own homes with special daily recipes and cocktail-making classes plus an end of festival online party.
Isla and Miguel Oyarzun explained: "In these uncertain times we absolutely wanted to keep the spirit of BE FESTIVAL alive. We wanted to continue to support our network of artists and still be able to bring together a programme of innovative art from across Europe that our audiences have come to expect each year. Although we are currently in lockdown, online platforms present an exciting opportunity for artists and audiences to connect and engage."
And they added: "The BE at HOME FESTIVAL will do just that, albeit on a smaller scale. Our ethos will still be at the heart of it but with the added potential to reach a much wider online global audience who might be looking for an inspiring diversion. In terms of what to expect, there will be intimate live performances, beautiful evocative films, an internet theatre challenge and a DJ party to end it all. We can't wait to share the BE FESTIVAL communal experience online."
Festival directors Miguel Oyarzun and Isla Aguilar
Artists featuring in this year's festival include David Espinosa sharing short three films over three days, Edurne Rubio blending prehistoric and modern Spanish history, Selina Losa sharing video recipes and DJ Glyn Phillips presenting a rousing closing party.
BE FESTIVAL, now in its 11th year, was due to take place in June. This year's full live festival has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic until 2021. The festival organisers have committed to paying the programmed artists their full fee for 2020 and a pledge to programme them in 2021. BE FESTIVAL is supported by using public funding by Arts Council England. Donations to support the festival can be made at the BE FESTIVAL website.
Visit befestival.org for further information and a full listing of events.