Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Losing, then Winning with 'A Year of Festivals'

I thought I'd write about a little whimsical, mm, not sure what to call it, project thing, I've done this past week. Bear with me, its a cute story, if I do say so myself...

I've been taking a break from working at festivals this summer. Partially, because it really interferred with my sons school timetable, and because, well, I need a break from the hecticness, because I wanted to spent more time in the studio and coming up with new cunning plans for world domin...I mean...making money. So I had no plans to go to this years Electric Picnic.

My son says to me one day, "I think we should go to the Electric Picnic, the line-up is great this year". It was the way he said it, (he's 8), that was just too darn cute. Now its too late for me to apply to work, and I cant afford tickets, so I said we weren't going. Then I spotted the mother of all competitions via Mark Graham, aka A Year of Festivals, blogger, writer and Festival lunatic.

For the past 3 years, Mark has been travelling to 3 Festivals in Ireland a week, and writing about them. I've been following him on the Twitter, because, well, I love festivals, and banter, so banter about festivals is worth reading about. The prize he was offering, was 2 tickets to EP, and everything you could want to bring to a festival, including posh accomodation. The motherload of festive wheelbarrows! (Read about it here). To quote Mark "I’ve put together some gear that isn’t the Best Festival Prize Ever, but it’s pretty frickin’ decent".

It was a very decent prize indeed, but I had my eye more on the glamping and the goodies, then the event itself. The criteria for the competition is, you had to take "an original and entertaining picture of you with my book" . His book, by the way, A Year of Festivals in Ireland, is a great read, fun and frolics, travelling (sometimes manically) around Ireland in a camper van, going to a bizarre range of festivals. (Available at all good bookshops!!). So we, that is my son and I, set about planning our winning pic.

I love Lego, (probably because I was deprived as a child), and am convinced with a bit of Lego, cardboard and markers you can make anything. Also, its teaching the child lessons, with a lot of imagination, a little dexterity, and stubbornness (there has to be a bit of obsessive stubbornness), you can make anything fun. You dont have to buy crap plastic all the time. So, for a few days, we set about making probs, taking pics of Lego-me and Lego-him, and then learning how to make comic strip picture on the PC.

We embarked on an epic entry, that would fill up the last remaining days of the summer holidays. (Thank god!). Here's the pic we entered...

To prepare the child for either winning or losing, the morning of the announcement, we made 2 more pictures. One if we won, another, if we lost. There was one other pic that I reckoned was potentially a winner, a toss up between us and her. (I'm sure it wasn't, there were other good entries, but, sure you know yerself, stay positive!).
This was our if we won pic...

But we didnt win...and congrats to Aoife, our 2nd fav, who won the tickets and the wheelbarrow of awesomeness. So, I posted up our if we lose pic online (a version of the if we won pic)

The reaction to our losing pic was fantastic. We got loads of lovely comments, and managed to make Mark feel really guilty... But, theres a great but with this story, Natasha, who is the  Festival Director of Spirit of Folk Festival in Co Meath, loved our losing pic so much, she offered us tickets to her festival! How frigging generous is that??!! I've never been, but it looks like a fab little festival, really my kind of scene, battle re-enactments, storytelling (I'm a huge fan of Eddie Lenihan, and he's going to be there!!), archery, falconry (the childs fav animals at the mo, are tigers and falcons!), I havent even mentioned music! It really is something special. So, to say thank you, we had to do another pic.

Never has there been such a good lesson to the child, about losing. Sometimes losing is as good as winning. He is chuffed out! And with school starting tomorrow (phew!!), the project filled out the last few days with excitement, and something to look forward to. We might take the little Lego mini-me and mini-him to the festival, its got the makings of  a wee documentary about it...

Big thanks to Natasha of Spirit of Folk Festival. And to Mark, who has been a real laugh to follow on the Twitter these past 3 years. Looking forward to seeing what he gets up to next! Yez are legends!!

Check them out...

 A Year of Festivals

Spirit of Folk Festival

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