We've run an annual Charles Causley Festival in and around Launceston in Cornwall for over 10 years, with great and increasing success. Since March 2020, however, the arts and cultural sector has felt the full weight of the global Coronavirus pandemic, with festivals and community events being cancelled up and down the UK, and around the world.
Here at the Causley Trust, though, we decided to undertake an exciting challenge: going 'digital'. Our mindset was: “If it’s possible, then we'll make it happen.” And, we did!
Keeping Charles Causley’s name alive and ‘out there’ is at the heart of the Trust's work, and the Festival's. Taking that celebration online means we can open up the workshops, talks, readings and so on to a far wider audience. It's great that we can spread the word even further and take these events well beyond Launceston and its locality.
Causley is 'a poet of place', with Launceston and Cornwall at the heart of his life and work. Yet the universal, accessible nature of his writing means that it goes far beyond just that territory. A digital Causley Festival of Arts and Literature reinforces those key Trust objectives of keeping his legacy alive, and spreading the word about him and his writing even more widely than ever before -- especially to those who know little or nothing of Causley, his world and his poetry. So, the pandemic was a chance for fresh thinking and action, taking greater advantage of what the modern, digital world offers.
Summer 2020's first 'virtual' Festival was so successful (see a report, HERE), we're making the digital dimension a permanent feature. So, whatever happens in 2021 with the pandemic (lockdowns, restrictions on travel and public gatherings), we'll be online for at least a good part of this year's Festival. If things do return to a more normal situation, we'll be a 'hybrid'. That means face-to-face, local events which have served us well in past years, from our very first Festival in 2010, up to 2019 -- but with the added digital factor, as well. If need be, though, July 2021 will once again be completely 'virtual'.
Whatever the blend of physical and local with digital and global may be, 2021's Causley Festival of Arts and Literature will once again be delivered through an online, digital ‘flip-book’ brochure. From that, you’ll be able to view, select, and book tickets for the events you want . Some will be payable (with restricted numbers), but many will be free of charge with requests for donations. They'll still need booking, though. In many cases. you’ll also be able to return to your events, afterwards, to watch them again, if you like. (You can see examples of this for 2020's Festival HERE.)
Do sign up for our e-mail Newsletter, HERE. That will give you the first news of our 2021 Festival programme, as well as the earliest chance to book tickets. It also provides news on the Trust's other activities: our poetry competitions, community activities, links with other bodies, and our Causley-related merchandise. So, signing up for the Newsletter is your chance to get ahead on all things Causley, as well as allowing for you to be prioritised for the Festival’s live workshops, and other events. (You can also keep up with the news on the Trust's social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.)