Saturday, 30 August 2014

Billingham Folklore Festival - The Review

Summer 2014

Normally I resume my globe-trekker identity during this time of the year. You'll all know by now, if you've been following my blog, that I'm MAD about travelling. Travelling allows me to experience different ways of life first-handedly, and simultaneously embrace the freedom that youth allows you before you become tied down by the heavy pressures possible in adulthood. 

But alas, being someone that's on the cusp of becoming an adult, I felt that it was time for me to start preparing for this new chapter in life. So it was goodbye travelling and hello work experience.

I know, this all sounds awfully boring doesn't it?

After months of interning, I eventually landed in the position of marketing executive for a new local radio station. Yay! Was my immediate thought. I felt I'd been promoted to level well above that of simply being a typical university student. I enjoy all aspects of marketing, especially the part where you get to meet new people, even though it's difficult, but I guess what sort of dampened my mood was that thought it would be an in-office job. Clearly, I'd much rather be, as the locals around here say, "out and about". Is work experience boring and does it stop me from experiencing all the different cultures of life that travelling permits? I was convinced that it did.

But then, two weeks into the job, I was told to help photograph and interview the ticket-holders, staff-members and performers of Billingham Folklore Festival. I'd never been to this festival before and having been told that I'd been attending the finale of its 50th year in running on 16th August, I knew I was definitely in for a treat.

And believe me, it surely was.

A feast of color and cultures 

If you’ve been to the festival before, you’ll know that renowned for gathering performers from all four corners of the world. This year was no exception, with entertainers coming as far as South Korea to as close as Stockport. 

It began with a grand parade throughout the town center, followed by a series of performances involving music, dance, and this year’s special theme, poetry. The international fiesta lasted the whole day and was finished, quite appropriately, with a large bang and oodles of colorful sparkles (aka. Fireworks).

But hang on a minute, I hear you all say, didn’t you say you went there as part of the press? Of course it wasn’t all play and no work. Most of the interviews I did will soon appear on our special radio show that’s basically going to review the event and how it’s grown up since its birth. But, just to prove that actually I was in action (and because I feel like treating you, my dear followers), here’s some of the comments I received from various people I interviewed. Their identities will remain anonymous though, btw (participant confidentiality reasons, fyi).

“I think the best part of Billingham Festival is seeing all the groups perform together. Their enthusiasm and creativity are incredible and can brighten up everyone’s spirits, even on the grayest and rainiest of days.” (Quote from a volunteer at Billingham Festival)

“I’m happy that I had the privilege of performing at Billingham Festival. I’ve loved every second of it, especially since I was able to mingle and mix with so many different people. If we get chosen to perform here again next year, I’d definitely be up for it!” (Quote from a performer)

And, obviously, I took LOADS of photos - it was definitely very difficult trying to narrow them down so I hope the ones I have posted are visually aesthetic to you all, my dear followers.

I have to admit, there was more than just once that I actually felt like joining in and dancing to the music.

I guess the only area of potential debate among those present was probably which country’s act was the best. I had a lot of people say Chile, Spain and Russia, but I personally had my eye on Mexico. Their ability to coordinate a mixture of traditional dance moves and music was phenomenal and their outfits were more than just stunning. But, I think it’s fair to say that overall, everyone’s performances were as brilliant and as unique as the other.

So, my fellow readers, I now return to the original question I posed: Is work experience boring and does it stop me from experiencing all the different cultures of life that travelling permits?

Absolutely not


1 comment:

  1. Wow! Sounds like a fabulous day! Definitely not boring - wonderful pics make the festival look very bright & dynamic