Feature: GIFT is coming and it needs your help

We live in the FUTURE!!! It’s not all great here in 2017, but one of the best things about living in the world of tomorrow is that it’s far easier to gain access to a whole range of crowdfunding platforms that can be absolutely vital to the continued existence of a range of organisations and events that place artists and creative people at the centre. I don’t want to suggest crowdfunding is easy (it actually takes loads of time and effort to do successfully) but what it means is that lack of funding doesn’t necessarily mean lack of funding. Gateshead International Festival of Theatre (or GIFT) are one such event that are using crowdfunding as an important source of funding for their 2017 festival.

Founded in 2011, GIFT is an artist led festival that celebrates contemporary theatre, bringing artists from the UK and other countries – that have in the past included Spain, Germany, North America, South Korea, The Netherlands, Sweeden and South Africa – into venues across Gateshead. The festival places focus on putting performances in the places you’d least expect them, with previous shows taking place in old shops, parks and even Metro Stations. This year’s festival will be taking place over three days from 28th – 30th April.

The performances lined up as part of this year’s festival include a show by El Conde de Torrefiel – an innovative theatre company from Barcelona – called La pisobilidad que desaparece frente al paisaje (or Possibilities that Disapear Before a Landscape) which focuses on ‘The imperceptible world of atmospheres, thoughts and memories’, taking place at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art on April 28th. As well as this GIFT are teaming up with Birmingham’s BE Festival for a finale event that will showcase three of BE Festival’s shows.

Something that particularly stood out to me when looking over the programme was the Lunchtime Conversation event with festival director Kate Craddock and other guests which promises to be an excellent opportunity for artists to get together and share their experiences. This is something that could be an incredibly valuable experience, particularly for emerging artists.

There are also loads of other events taking place over the three days of this year’s GIFT meaning the festival looks to be full of fantastic events that really place a strong focus on highlighting the great work of artists in some fantastic venues throughout Gateshead.

Information on festival events is available on GIFT’s website and you can buy festival passes here.

Finally, if you’d like to donate to GIFT’s JustGiving you can do so here.