So: how does a digital arts and literature festival work?

We know that for many of you, a 'digital' arts and literature festival might be a totally new thing; but the principle is very simple. The way to think of it is that you get to attend all the events, live – but from the comfort of your own home.

Each separate event will have its own unique link that will 'go live' at its allotted time in the digital brochure….a little like a TV programme, except that you click on a link and watch it on your computer, laptop, iPad or phone instead. And just as with television, once the programme's finished you can get up, pop the kettle on, make yourself a snack or walk the dog until the next one starts.

Our digital Causley Festival will be streamed via a free downloadable programme, Zoom. You may already use that system. It's free to download, access, and use -- and, it's perfectly safe for your device.

You may still have questions; here's some tips to make it as easy as possible.

What will I need to do before the Festival?

  • Step 1: Make yourself a cup of tea, coffee, or whatever… or perhaps even a glass of wine or similar, if it’s the evening!
  • Step 2: Head over to our Causley Festival page, or to our Facebook page – where you’ll find the link to the Festival’s digital brochure.
  • Step 3: Have a sip of your drink, and browse the e-brochure to decide which events you’d like to watch, or to take part in. There are a range of events to choose from. Some are free, and some are paid for; some are talks or readings, while others are walks, or another type of event.
  • Step 4: Click on the booking link for each event you want, and follow the instructions to book your tickets -- always noting whether it's a free or a paid-for event booking. Either way, you'll then get a confirmation. The day before the Festival starts, you’ll receive all the links (one for each event you’ve selected) in your Inbox.
  • Step 5: Download Zoom (if you haven’t already got it) to the device that you want to use to access the events, from this website: https://zoom.us/signup . If you've not used Zoom before now, then you might want to test it out quickly, to familiarise yourself with the system before your first Festival event.

Around 24 hours before the Festival as a whole begins, you’ll receive a separate e-mail message with a Zoom link for each of the events that you’ve booked. Make sure you don’t delete or lose track of these links! And if you haven’t had your links by the morning of any event you’ve booked, please do not hesitate to email us.

What will I need to do 'on the day' (or, days)?

  • Step 1: Keep a note of when your events start: perhaps jot them down, in a little running order? Or maybe you'd prefer to set a reminder in your phone, etc., to alert you 15 minutes or so before each of your booked events begins – just to let you know that it’s about to start.
  • Step 2: If it’s portable (and/or usually used unplugged), make sure the device you’re using is fully charged, ready to go, and will last for the whole event. There's nothing worse than running out of battery, midway through something!
  • Step 3: Have whatever refreshments you want ready and to hand, so you don’t miss any of the event (it’s not like a video that you can play back, soon afterwards-- that won't be something you can do until much later after the Festival, for certain events).

What will I need to know and do once each event that I've booked for 'goes live'?

Here are a few other useful knowledge points:

  • Unless it’s a workshop or a live talk, your camera and microphone will be turned off remotely by us… So, don’t worry: we won’t see your face or your room at all, or hear you. That might happen later on, if for example, there's a Q&A session and you want to ask a question or make a comment.
  • The ‘Chat’ function on Zoom, to ask questions or offer a comment will be enabled for all events, whether your camera is on or not. You can usually find that by moving your cursor to the very bottom or top of your screen, which will bring up a little 'functions bar' – just click on ‘Chat’ and type in your question or comment. Note that pressing return will send what you've written up to that point -- it won't produce a space or a new paragraph.
  • All the workshop and live talks will have camera and audio remotely enabled at your end when appropriate, allowing you to be seen and heard just like at a real event. You may however need go to the function bar (as mentioned above), to ensure you’re 'on at your end' (in other words, check that the camera and microphone symbols on your screen don’t have a diagonal cross through them). If you don’t want to be seen or heard, then you can turn your camera and/or sound off that way – but you need to remember to turn them on again later, to be seen/heard once again!
  • There’ll be a short introduction and a 'housekeeping' announcement at the start of each of the events, from our Causley Festival host Ellie Mason -- who will also be managing the Chat questions for the event lead.
  • You will need a broadband/wifi internet download speed of around 3MB to access the Festival events properly via Zoom. Most home internet systems have this sort of speed – but anything below that speed (if you're out and not connected to an external wifi system, for instance) might mean that you’ll find the video and audio a little ‘jittery’.
  • We remind you that recording of any event (or any part of one) by you, or any use of the content and images is STRICTLY forbidden for copyright reasons, unless you've already had formal consent from The Charles Causley Trust.
  • And finally… “ENJOY!” Digital is certainly a new way of working and celebrating for us; it may be a new way for you, too. We're very excited to bring you along with us on this adventurous and innovative journey -- and we've already proved beyond doubt that it's a method that works very well indeed.
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Covid-19 updateThe Causley Trust Staff are working from home until further notice and can be contacted by email as usual. We hope you all stay safe and well.