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Cathryn Peach is the Creative Producer at Wild Rumpus and the Network Manager, Northern Festivals Network. Wild Rumpus and Northern Festivals run a lot of festivals including, Just So, Kendal Calling, Ramsbottom Festival, Festival No.6, Underneath the Stars and Cloudspotting Festival. In addition to the festivals they run a lot of events as well. The Northern Festivals Network aims to increase the amount of high quality arts for families at Greenfield festivals. They work with Arts Council England and receive funding from them to create an environment where a wide range of high quality outdoor family art can thrive. They work with companies to develop audience for family outdoor work.

Ruby Jennings put us in touch with Cathryn and it feels like a really great contact to have. We were due to meet with Cathryn in November as part of our a-n professional development project. Sadly Cathryn was unwell instead we’ve had an email exchange with her and are now due to meet her in January. The two questions we really needed help from Cathryn was how do we approach organising a tour and how should we cost our work. Here is Cathryn’s response..

“The best way is often through gaining contacts from others, so mine the contacts you have for all of their contacts. Its always worth asking around as the festival world is so small.

Price points, I would work out your daily rate per person, then how many people for an installation, your travel per mile, your per diems, and then build in development money (either to cover what you have done or cover you going forward).

The Arts Council has advice on daily rates that you could start with. Obviously it might be to begin with that you need to be flexible and reduce a little but I would try and be flexible with the amount you’re offering, rather than so flexible on your fee. It is probably better for you to offer more at the same rate than reduce the cost loads, as the base cost for you getting there, and it will give you the chance hopefully, to exhibit more of your work.”

We need to start being a bit cheekier and a little braver and asking people for their contacts! I shall go through who I know and consider who they might know and if they could be useful contacts for us.

The price points information is very useful too. I hadn’t considered money for development in our current cost, of course this is something that needs to be considered.

In the same email exchange I sent Cathryn our e-portfolio and tour pack for Big Knitting, which again she came back with some really useful advice on..

“The portfolio of your work is really great and definitely what we would look at first. It is great to have a tour pack too, I would also include a variety of prices at different levels, these can always be negotiated but it gives the festivals a place to start, examples of the span of land you can cover would also be good. Is it always that you would need a cherrypicker? I imagine this might be a sticking point for some festivals.”

From what Cathryn has said a e-portfolio and tour pack are really useful tools. We have now added a range of base prices to our Big Knitting tour pack that allow for average mileage and different amount of days. Sarah is very good as using CAD, she is going to create a layout of the space we need. Both Sarah and I are quite small and Big Knitting needs to be high up, this is why we added the cherrypicker to avoid this issue I’m going to look into buying large portable ladders for us to use. At previous festivals we’ve had long waits for scaffold towers (2 days once), having your own equipment is a lot better and your own scaffold licence and cherry picker licence, we are getting these in preparation for summer 2017.

If you’d like to see our tour pack for Big Knitting or e-portfolio please email me [email protected]

Cathryn has kindly offered to acted on her first point of using others contacts and will send our Big Knitting tour pack to her contacts once we’ve made the amendments.

I’m really looking forward to meeting her in the New Year.