What goes on at...Juice Festival

Juice Festival is a week-long festival for children and young people from 24th-31st October. At their launch party Ellen Orange had the chance to talk to Chris, the Artistic Director, Ryan and Rachel, two Juice Festival Coordinators and member of Team Juice, Lily to find out more.

What goes on at...Juice Festival

Can you tell me a little bit about Juice Festival and what it means for you?

Rachel: It is a festival for children and young people under 25 it encompasses all sorts of people and art forms from dance to circus and visual art to anime. It's a festival that's really for, by and with young people.

Lily: This is my first year doing Juice. There's loads of things going on which I hadn't seen or heard before so it's really good to be part of it and really good experience for the future

Ryan: With Team Juice there's lots of ways to stay involved, both me and Rachel started off volunteering and as an assistant so there's just been ways of getting more and more involved.

Chris: We are really trying to live up to it being with young people, not just for them, and really give them opportunities to get involved but then stay with us for a few years and progress.

How did you get involved?

Rachel: I was involved in Change-makers, which was a project to support young people to become leaders and through [them I heard] that Juice Festival were looking for assistants and from there I was just chucked into the festival and I have been here ever since.

Ryan: I was looking for more writing experience so I got involved in a spoken word project which was part of Juice festival. The next year I thought it seemed interesting so I applied for a few things to do with Juice. Then after the festival an application went round for Team Juice.

Chris: I have always had an interest in two things; working on festivals - I started off working on Bradford festival - and I had a lot of interest in working with young people and children. I spent time looking at Arts Council then the Artistic Director job came up for Juice and I thought 'That is just the thing for me,' it's working with young people, it's a festival so this is my perfect job.

What have your roles involved?

Ryan: Me and Rachel are both coordinators but we do very different things. I've been leading the Young Journalists' Project, running the blog, and admin work; sending out emails, hiring team juice and organising the volunteer schedule.

Rachel: I've been working on and coordinating a lot of the schools projects, helping with Arts Award Explore running alongside one of our projects and helping organise the Big Juice Read for the public and in schools. This year it's Alfie Bloom and the secrets of Hexbridge castle by Gabrielle Kent which is brilliant.

Lily: Team Juice is split into two so some people were organising the launch party and the rest of us are organising the launch day, so my practical role is going to be Compère on the day

What has been the highlight of working on this year's event?

Ryan: Seeing the Young Journalist's part in the culture magazine actually in print. It was really good to see that.

Lily: just being part of it, it's been a new experience, taking on things I wouldn't have done before.

Rachel: Working with Thimble Collective for All Night Tonight and seeing the trailer was just a really lovely moment. It had clips of all the children we had worked with, they were really engaged in the project and it was great.

Chris: Walking up the stairs and seeing all this tonight, I've had nothing to do with it and just seeing how team juice have transformed this space, it's happening and I can't wait.

What are you most looking forward to?

Rachel: House of Light in the Mining Institute, I don't know what to expect but it will be fantastic.

Lily: I'm excited for Vamos' 'Day of the Dead'. It looks so cool, it's colourful, bright and happy.

Chris: The unexpected things, seeing the team get up and perform and seeing young people enjoying themselves.

Juice Festival is taking place across Newcastle and Gateshead from 24th- 31st October. Visit www.newcastlegateshead.com/juice-festival for more information on the events.


Ellen Orange

Ellen Orange Contributor

I am a 24 year old Marketing Officer from the North East with a passion for arts and writing. I did a BA in English Literature and an MA in Twentieth and Twenty First Century Literature at Durham University, because I love books and reading! I have experience in writing for a variety of student publications, as well as having contributed to Living North, a regional magazine and Culture magazine, a supplement to regional newspaper, The Journal. I have been part of a Young Journalists scheme writing for NewcastleGateshead's Juice Festival, a young people's arts and culture festival, and have since become a Team Juice member. As well as reading and writing, I love theatre, photography and crafts.

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