When smaller is better

The impact of an arts festival is easily diffused in a major population centre. If you want your festival to really make a splash, hold it in a small town.

Junction Arts Festival; photo by Joanne Faulkner

In a major capital city it’s easy to miss an arts festival completely, unless you’re either in the know or at some stage pass through the precinct where the festival is concentrated.

As the likes of Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival Groningen and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe aptly demonstrate, cultural events have greater impact in smaller cities.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts