It was amazing to see so many people at the Open Meeting yesterday, both regular Beltaners and lots of new faces. If you couldn’t make it along but would still like to take part in Samhuinn 2013, you can find information about the groups (and contact details for the organisers) here.
If you’ve never taken part in a BFS festival before and this is all looking a little bit daunting, here are some pointers to help you…
It’s ok not to be able to make up your mind right now!
It’s totally normal to look at that big list of groups and find more than one that appeals to you, so please don’t let this stop you from getting involved. Get in touch with the organisers of the groups you’re interested in, have a chat, go along to the first meetings of a couple of groups if you want to, then make up your mind. Just be honest with the organisers and let them know that you’re visiting more than one group. Also, once you have made up your mind, please tell the organisers of the groups that you’ve applied to/visited but are not joining. No-one will look down on you for not being sure straight away, and letting organisers know where you’re at will help them when it comes to assessing their recruitment needs.
Be honest with the organisers (and yourself) about your availability.
Some groups have two meetings a week filled with intensive training. Some have one meeting a week. Some have less, because they don’t require performance rehearsal or lots of preparation. Some groups are able to be more flexible than others. Some are planned to be family-friendly so you can bring kids along to meetings. Be realistic about how much time and energy you can dedicate to the process over the next couple of months. Talk to the organisers of the groups you’re interested in and let them know about your situation. They’ll be able to help you figure out your best fit.
Think about skills you already have AND skills you’d like to learn.
BFS events are a great opportunity to learn new skills and build on existing ones. If you’d love to try drumming, dancing, singing or a certain craft (for example) but have never done it before, most groups accept beginners and will be able to help you learn. Don’t let a lack of experience put you off – just tell the group organisers that you’re new to that particular skill set and see what opportunities they have for you. Enthusiasm and dedication go a long way. Be prepared to challenge yourself! On the flipside, if you already have epic fire spinning skills and want to join a group with fire performance (for example), let the organisers know this when you get in touch.
Don’t assume that being totally new to BFS events will work against you.
It won’t! We’re always happy to welcome new people. If you have questions, just ask. No-one will expect you to be an expert in something you’ve never taken part in and part of a group organiser’s job is to help new members find their feet and offer guidance.
If you’re still absolutely stuck…
Send an email to our lovely Volunteers Coordinator, John, at firstname.lastname@example.org with some information about things you’d like to try, skills you already have and what your availability is like. He’ll be able to help direct you to groups you might want to join.
Because there are only two months to go until the festival happens and lots of groups fill up quickly (although there may be some opportunities to get involved at a later date), it’s important that you get the ball rolling as soon as possible. Everyone involved in organising Samhuinn, from the Producer to the Board of Trustees to the Group Organisers, are friendly, welcoming people so just get in touch!