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Friday, 25 May 2018

Farewell then Gazebook

Finally the news comes through that Gazebook Sicily is not running this year. It's come to an end, the founders have family, work and studying commitments and so it has come to an end.

It's inevitable really and the three years it ran were fantastic. To create a festival out of nothing, with barely any funding, without charging entrance, making it truly open to everybody, is an achievement in itself.

To make one with such good feeling and goodwill is beyond belief. Looking back at the images of the three festivals (and I was really, really lucky enough to attend them all), you can see the loose associations and friendships and collaborations that came out of the festival taking root, on an international scale across borders and genres and boundaries.

I think three years is the upper limit for this kind of festival. It was started by Simone Sapienza, Melissa Carnemolla and Teresa Bellina, and they provided the energy and organisation to keep it going. They turned the event from something that was questioned by locals to something that was accepted and embraced.

But events like that also rely on a huge amount of goodwill and for that you need volunteers, helpers, and mounds and mounds of goodwill. That's what makes a festival, that's what gives it its special feeling. That and the town of Punta Secca. You can't take it away from there. So farewell then Gazebook. You are gone.

And in a way, it's a good thing it comes to an end. It makes us appreciate how much effort and work went into making it so special, how much diplomacy behind the scenes, how much tending to local and international concerns, how much walking close to the edge of all things financial, technical and meteriological.

So farewell Gazebook. You're ending at the right time. And I can't wait for the next Gazebook to come along. Thank you for everything.

So if you're somewhere in the world, especially if it's hot and by the beach, and you're thinking of starting a festival. Make it happen!

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