I can't believe it's over - but I'm glad it is. I've had to have a week to recover from it- hence the huge gap since my last post. Over the 5 days of the festival, I got about 15 hours sleep, which made me incredibly worn out and tired to say the least.
So how did it go? It was a huge success. It was long, and full of excitement and entertainment. There's so much to tell that this may come out in dribs and drabs - when suddenly I remember something more. From the beginning may be best:
TINA was already packed from the moment it started. There were people from all across Australia and even from other parts of the globe who had made the trek to Newcastle for this explosion of creativity. My days pretty much consisted of the following
- 9am: be at TINA to set up the Bike Corral and update the website
- 11am - 1am: work on the Bike Corral
- 1am - 3pm: Compile a media release and update the web with photos, program changes, new media information and anything else I saw that needed doing.
- 3pm - 5pm:
- 5pm - 7pm: Take down Bike Corral equipment and clean up area
- 7:30pm - 12am: Work behind bar in the Festival Club
- 12am - 3am(next day!): Clean up festival club - included getting guests out of venue (way harder than it sounds) and dealing with angry people who don't understand why we've closed the bar.
- After: Make my way home and finally get to sleep at some point around 4:30 - 5am ish - then up again at 7-7:30ish for the day.
All the while I was also making sure everyone was ok, doing general coordination, helping people and assisting media with anything they wanted (while still trying to keep our end of the bargain with our sponsors). Let me say, there was no time for rest and I was completely burnt out after 5 days of this. Hence the huge gap (which has mainly been spent sleeping!). But all I can say is it was worth it. It's hard to explain how emancipated I feel after being a part of this team who have achieved this beautiful and amazing event. I feel incredibly proud and lucky.
Media wise, we had ok success. Every Newcastle media outlet picked it up and ran a god piece EXCEPT the Newcastle Herald. I don't know why, but obviously this is what I need to evaluate from my side - where did I go wrong in the communications aspect? We had The Post, The Star, The Daily Telegraph and The Sun Herald all do stuff in print, and Triple J, 2HD and ABC radio show a huge amount of support, with everything being positive. The Herald however, only ran us in socials, which I thought was a bit of a cop out. It's like they are too good for their own town. Anyway, I need to look at how I can increase our exposure in The Herald.
What is happening now goes along the lines of post-tina clean up and getting ready for our board meeting. We've started on the evaluation part of TINA. During the festival, we made up surveys (many many hundreds) and asked volunteers to go around and hand them out for people to complete. At the moment we are compiling the results. We have an evaluation meeting coming up halfway through this month, which is where we deliver the success of the event to the board and look towards next year.
Speaking of next year, I have already started on the communication side. It's funny that what started as a placement has resulted in a new love being found and followed - as in my love for TINA. I never really thought that I would like it as much as I have, but I really feel as if I have contributed to something amazing and well worth the effort.
I think there will be another post to go after this - like an evaluation of what I got out of TINA sort of post. But I might get my thoughts together a little bit more before I put that one up.
If you want to check out pics of the event, head to http://www.flickr.com/photos/thisisnotart_festival/
This is what I set up to get the photos available, but I am yet to post them all up.