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The Village is a beautiful, beguiling festival that exists to provide an intimate environment in which professional and non professional artists and audiences can meet each other in bliss. The programming aesthetic is populist, accessible, quirky, and littered with the familiar and the exotic. Folks you know personally and things you never knew existed.
Fanning out from the centre of your favourite park are a bunch of lovely hand-made portable theaters – tents, inflatables, caravans, buses, puppet booths plus a selection of pieces of art, brick-a-brack, food stalls, games and items to delight the senses.
In the middle is a café and a bar, and you sit with your friends and take in the view. A large blackboard tells you that each of the surrounding venues are full of great stuff for you to see. Each show is between five and thirty minutes long. And they are dirt cheap. Many things are free.
Having seen a show you go back to the bar and meet up with your friends, have a coffee and then see something else. In the course of the night you may see lots. The food is good, the coffee is too, the place is interesting on every level – there is art in the loo.
The Village is run by a professional team of highly experienced arts workers, often mentoring teams of volunteers, students and keen amateurs. The Village provides artistic support for artists – this may simply be some dramaturgical or design advice, but has often included complete devising and directing of new works.
Many Village Festivals are presented in conjunction with other festivals or events and the Village can set up almost anywhere around Australia for corporate or community purposes.