I really dislike the word ‘buzz’.

When I ask someone what it is that they like most about festivals, I hate when they say ‘the buzz’.

Buzz seems limiting to me.

It’s nowhere near as descriptive as the exhilarating experience.

It’s inarticulate.

It diminishes what the individual is absorbing and processing emotionally.

More often than not, when someone says they like ‘the buzz’, what they really mean to say is:

‘I really enjoy the feeling of playing an instrumental part in supporting an incredibly sophisticated cultural ecology’.

Photo on 17-10-2014 at 15.57

See, no one knows better than artists pouring their hearts into a festival that their creative endeavour is just one tiny part of the festival experience.

You can have an incredible show, but if there are no venues to host how will the audience find you?

If there were no audiences, why would the media come and write about you?

And if nobody’s writing about you, why would industry want to come to a festival with nothing of interest to buy?

See that ‘buzz’ is so much more.

It’s the feeling of a million tiny elements all working together in perfect harmony – sometimes synchronised, sometimes syncopated, but always coming together to create that perfect experience.

And that is what I love about festivals.

Today, the 25th Orlando Fringe Festival kicks off at 5:30pm with around 150 shows in venues across the city. It’s a remarkable festival run by a remarkably small team and I’m here to catch as many shows as possible, with a view to finding that great new piece and helping to take it to the next level.

Hell, I may even find collaborators for my performance art essay Unf*ck Yourself that I hope to premier here next year.

After all, with a close knit community of artists, hundreds of dedicated volunteers and an army of loyal audience members, it’s impossible not to get caught up in the…


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Barry Church-Woods is an idie-arts producer who is interested in developing projects that contribute to the betterment of society.

He sweats a lot when in Florida and always smells of SPF50 and Issey Miyake.

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