Beyond the border postponed

Like so many other events Beyond the Border has been postponed. It’s a shame. The last time I went was at St Donat’s, which is a beautiful venue for a festival like this. The next time the festival runs it will be somewhere else, and I’m not sure that’ll work for me. Sometimes it is a good idea to know when you just want the memories of a thing to be left as something beautiful to look back on.

It might be now for me. It might be a good time to leave it anyway. Given that it’s postponed for now I don’t really have to decide. I hope that it does get going again next year. It would be a shame for it to end completely.

Not getting to Beyond the Border this year

Which is a massive shame really. I’m going to miss it. Last time it was an amazing experience and a huge amount of fun too. I’m a big fan of storytelling. It’s important. It is just so fundamental and core to how we understand things.

I’ve always found the storytelling at Beyond the Border to be incredible. The range of stories and tellers is so rich that I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed in all of the years that I’ve been there.

Maybe disappointed with the weather, but even then, not that often.

I hope it’s as amazing as ever this year. I’m just so sorry not to be there.

Moog Soundlab residency: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard Performance

Moog Soundlab residency: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard Performance
Moog Soundlab residency: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard Performance

After being at one of these performance I’d booked to go again, expecting, not unreasonably, for it to be of a similar format to the previous Moog Soundlab event at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch. I was wrong. At least, I was for the most part wrong. It was similar in the sense that there was the same enormous (or at least enormous by my standards) Moog modular rig being used. However, I was different in more or less every other aspect.

To illustrate I took a photograph of the letter that every received (on their chair as they arrived) and were asked to read.

Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard Performance
Moog Soundlab residency: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard Performance … the letter

I think you’ll agree that this is really quite unusual. As were the two glasses of gin that did arrive and were, at least to my taste, nothing like the gin I’m used to.

In fact, as an event it was more like something I might see at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, rather than in London, so from that perspective, I loved it.

Tall Tales from Beyond the Border

I was at the Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival recently, which was great as it I had seriously thought it would never run again. The festival has had a few years off due to funding woes and for most festivals that normally means that they won’t be seen again. Not so for Beyond the Border. This year they were back just like there had been no break at all and I was very happy to be there.

It was a superb festival with lots of amazing music and stories from all over the world. Whenever I get to events like this I’m amazed at how riveting storytelling can be. How just listening to one person telling a story can captivate your imagination.

I’m so impressed at the immense cultural heritage that’s gathered in one place. It also reminds me of how easy it is to forget our own cultural heritage, and how in large cities we can forget our stories.

Stories are important, they help us to understand where we are in the world and make sense of things. Living in cities can disconnect us from our stories, and being at an event like Beyond the Border helps reestablish that connection, helps us remember our own stories and reminds us to continue to tell them.

It feels good that Beyond the Border is back. It should be on again in 2012, and I hope I’ll be there.

Walkway to the stories
The walk down to Beyond the Border Storytelling Festival