OK, so that out of the way, I just wanted to say the most impossibly big thank you to all of you.
This year more than any I felt like Forest Fringe lived up to the sometimes slightly absurd reputation that people have given it. It was full of ideas and hope and courage and risk and openness. It was full of optimism, filled with people trying to think through important things. It was filled with exhilarating performances, really breathtaking beautiful work. Mainly though it was filled with people - just an incredible community of people who believe in and are invested in trying to make something special. It is that collective goodwill and generosity and conviction that both makes Forest Fringe possible and makes it potentially important.
I think everyone kind of realises that its going to be a tough few years as the coalition government, co-opting the rhetoric of austerity to hide their own brutal ideology, basically screw the public sector for all its worth. It's not going to be fun. I sometimes worry that Forest Fringe is somewhat of a poster-boy for this patronising "look, the kids are doing for themselves and they don't need our money" attitude towards funding and such like. But actually out of this year especially I think what we're all doing is just showing a bit of resilience. Actually getting up and making something. Making a case for ourselves. For why what we do is valuable and meaningful. For why it should be supported.
Thank you to all of you for being part of an amazing couple of weeks. I hope you all had a good time. Thanks especially to everyone at the Forest Cafe for just being amazing and totally committed and lovely and most important of all, thanks to Ellie Dubois, who basically runs Forest Fringe during the summer, who carries me and Debs when it all gets too much and without whom none of this would happen.
I'm sure Debs will have her own thank you to everyone but for now I just wanted to make sure you keep us up to date with everything you're doing and we'll be sure to let you know if and when any new opportunities come up with Forest Fringe.
Till next year,
(ps, Keep thinking of the Spaceman. He has another six days to go before he has finally climbed 50 miles.)
(pps, We'll post photos and videos and reviews and such like on our blog in the next few days and weeks, so keep an eye out and if there's anything (at any point, not just to do with the festival) that you'd quite like us to put on there (thoughts, ideas, calls-to-arms etc.), just email it over.)
'This is the future.' (Neil Cooper, The Herald)
'An ongoing miracle' (Lyn Gardner, The Guardian)
Forest is people. People is you. You is us.
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"We all tend to idealise kindness and tolerance, then wonder why we find ourselves infested with losers and nutcases." Sebastian Horsley