This months sees the first Festival of Nottingham come to the city. In a mini interview, TEDxNottingham caught up with one of the organisers Tony Bates to find out what’s going on in October…
So Tony, can you tell what the Festival of Nottingham is all about?
The Festival of Nottingham is an opportunity to promote the diverse range of activities across our city, particularly focusing on the less well known. We plan to make this an annual event with October being our month, throwing a spotlight on the city and gaining the reputation we deserve. We want to celebrate the massive variety of events already planned and hopefully inspire some new ones.
We are delighted to have the support of local and world giant Experian in putting a festival collector card on the streets and are excited to work with Antenna on a local talent event “Notts Factor”. Nottstober will also be a huge month for local music with Jake Bugg and Dog is Dean releasing albums and we are looking forward to the first Branch Out Festival, featuring a number of break-though acts across seven venues.
Why did you feel it was important to have a festival?
The idea was inspired on the back of an idea I had earlier in the year to “Get Nottingham Trending” on social media site Twitter. For the uninitiated “trending” topics are the most talked about and’ using the hashtag #Nottinghamrocks, we managed to trend number one in the UK and third in the world. We asked people not share their thought on Nottingham and the volume and content of the messages bowled us over. This led to the obvious question of “what next?” so a festival seemed the obvious choice, continuing to share the positive thoughts about our city.
What are the main things you want to see come out of the Festival of Nottingham?
It’s always difficult to establish an event so from the fist one our ambitions are realistic. The main thing is to make October, of Nottstober as we have now renamed it, an annual time to celebrate the city. There were some brilliant ideas that were just not possible to arrange in the limited time but watch out for next year.
What, for you, makes Nottingham a unique city?
Nottingham really benefits from being a small city, large enough to host so many great events yet small enough to feel friendly and connected. I am amazed at how often I bump into people I know at so many places. We also benefit from a huge student population and a thriving creative sector, both adding to the mix.
Finally, have you got any highlights for us over the next month? What’s your number one thing to check out?
October is just so packed it’s impossible to pick out one event and even hard to pick out the highlights but for me the new William Ivory play at Nottingham Playhouse, Diary of a Football Nobody, The Branch Out Festival and Notts Factor. Oh, and not forgetting good old Goose Fair and the Castle Beer Festival. I could go on…