Representatives from across the music and entertainment industry are among 500 specialists to take part in a month-long online event involving debates on topics ranging from festivals and entrepreneurship to mental health.
Taking part in the Future of Festivals session were Broadwick Live director Mark Newton, One Out Festival director Freddie Macgregor, JBM Music & Events director Jorge Meegan, MC/artist Skibadee and DJ/producer Kenny Ken.
The event is being hosted on on URfeed, a video conversation app, and has been described as a two-way TED talk. It will run until the end of March
URfeed CEO Gareth Ingham tells Access about his involved in the event and its aims.
Why did you decide to launch the festival?
Being someone that has worked to build communities all my life, I have seen their benefit and how talking to new people and making friends can really give people a lift. Then when we saw this being confirmed by research it dawned on me that we had the ability to provide this space for people to get their minds back into a social gear.
We decided to put on an event that not only supports charities that supports those that need help but also gets everyone talking and gives people a push start to start thinking about getting back out there.
How do you hope it will make a difference?
The goal of the event is to spark a million conversations and get the UK talking to each other to support mental wellbeing, while giving young people valuable insights to help them move forward.
We are creating talks for people that want to learn a new skill or gain insight to help them progress. People interested in an industry. People with a side hustle or passion around a skill, aspirational upstarts, entrepreneurs, business owners, self employed, freelancers, change makers, go getters. Upcoming music artists and creators.
People looking to learn methods to cope with the stress brought about by Covid.
The normal fundraising methods for charities have all dried up due to lockdown. So we wanted to create a platform where people are engaged with subject mattter they enjoy and also given the opportunity to donate (every video will have a ‘donate’ button) the event is supporting mental health charity Rethink and UK Youth.
We hope to bring people together and allow them to build a new network that supports their growth.
How long have you been planning it for?
We started planning the event at the start of January. It has been 18-hour days since but the response has been amazing and we are really pleased with the event we have put together. We feel honoured and supported by the community around us that are rallying around us to facilitate this timely event.
Do you have plans to make it a physical event beyond 2021?
There will certainly be some physical manifestation of this in the future but there is some benefit to keeping the event online as we are able to keep costs low so providing a free event for anyone to access without need to travel to major cities.
The event is taking place on URfeed which is a video conversation app that lets people interact using short video messages, allowing large groups to talk without the need for everyone to be online at the same time. We think this will let people take part in a much more manageable way, tapping into conversations they are interested in on-demand.
We have a lot of things to do to make sure we are able to give people an experience they take real benefit from and this is really our only focus at the moment.
Who knows what will happen in the future and if we will introduce a physical element. But right now we think Firestarters will live on URfeed giving more people the ability to join in and take part.