June 6, 2016
Beyond the bright lights and the roar of the crowds, there’s something special brewing inside the melting pot of festival culture. Some say it’s a social revolution. Others look at it as a spiritual awakening of sorts. Whatever it is, brilliant academics are talking about the larger impact festivals have on the world, which we explore in Festie TED Talks.
“Festivals promote diversity,” Binder says. “They bring neighbors into dialogue, they increase creativity, they offer opportunities for civic pride, they improve our general psychological well-being. In short, they make cities better places to live.”
In a heartwarming talk on the Sydney Festival in Australia, the acclaimed Broadway producer David Binderexplains how an entire city finds communal ownership in a tiny Australian neighborhood theater project calledMinto Live. During Minto Live, the attendees travel from house to house to view autobiographical performances put on by the residents of each home they visit; this unique format brings the city’s neighborhoods closer together through shared experience and joyous, meaningful participation.
In partnering with the local community in the way Minto Live does, Binder sees a new possibility for the festivals of our time. In fact, he believes that when festivals inspire passive spectators to become participants, we have a fresh chance to better understand our local community, our world and ourselves. Certain festivals like Canada’s Shambhala Music Festival , Bonnaroo, and Burning Man are in constant dialogue with their attendees, making for engaged, year-round communities. It’s true that there’s no one festival model, but that’s what makes festivals so exciting. These festivals are radically open by inspiring participation, and evolve as a result. If every festival did so, they increase their power to transform individuals, cities, and extended communities across the globe.
Giving us all a sense of ownership over our favorite festivals is the way the 21st century festival industry will continue to thrive. In other words, #Festivalgoals.