Too many festivals bad for local artists

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Mary Lou Jelbart

Arts festivals make politicians feel good but they depress independent artists who don't fit the festival mode.

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I read Esther Anatolitis’ view of arts festivals with considerable interest. As a former director of the Fringe Festival it isn’t surprising that she feels there can never be too many festivals.  There is a great feeling of energy around the Fringe Festival, hundreds of shows, thousands of performers, visual artists, techs, directors and producers, crowds of young arts lovers going to events across the (inner) city.  But it’s one thing to be in a funded environment (i.e. the organizer) and quite another to be a venue or performer doing their damndest not to go under in a sea of performance created debt.

About the author

Mary Lou Jelbart is an arts journalist and Artistic Director of fortyfive downstairs.