It would be a pretty big understatement to say this has been a challenging year for the arts. Many of us by our very nature exist to bring you and multiple strangers together, whether it’s at a festival, a gallery, or a music venue. For now, we stay apart to keep each other safe, but it has come at a heavy price.
This Winter we are holding another festival in the digital realm, and we are asking you to help us out by buying a ticket from Citizen Ticket. There is a suggested price of £5 (+ booking fee), but you are free to amend that to whatever you can afford. Every little helps in these uncertain times.
The festival itself will be publically accessible for free, so if you can’t afford a donation you can still tune in.
Why should I buy a ticket?
In an ordinary year, right about now we would be planning for our Winter festival to take place on Calton Hill. We would be selling tickets, which would help to pay for various running costs like licenses, security fees, fencing, stages, and a lot of body paint.
We would have sold thousands of these tickets which, once the festival costs had been paid for, would have helped our organisation sustain itself for another year. As a society we receive no public money or grants, and it has been through the enduring support of our audience that our festivals have survived for more than 30 years.
Now, with no in-person gatherings, we have zero income and are mostly running things off our reserves. Things are a little cheaper now that we don’t have big physical structures or licensing fees to pay for, but even digital festivals cost money to put on, and we still have ongoing expenses we need to pay for.
We have three freelance contractors who we want to keep giving work to for as long as we can. There’s web domain costs, rent to pay, and still lots of body paint. And we need to keep something aside so we can throw you all the celebration you deserve whenever it’s safe to gather again.
Preparing for the green return
Last time we asked for your support, the whole country had just locked down and withdrawn from the outside world. Cars left the roads, dolphins returned to Venice, and the birds could be heard singing clearly across the city. It felt like nature was showing signs of recovering.
What we know now is that we risk putting the world even further out of balance once we emerge into our new normal. The sharp increase in human activity could lead to carbon emissions shooting back up, potentially spiking much higher than before. We need to make plans now for a green recovery from the pandemic.
For the last three festivals we have held, we have pledged 10% of our income from ticket sales to green charities. By buying a ticket, your money has gone towards helping Scottish sealife, saving the bees, planting trees, and funding community gardening groups. So far we’ve distributed over £1,200, and we want to give more.
We’re making the pledge again for the upcoming digital Hearth Fire. 10% of all proceeds raised from our pay-what-you-can tickets, up to £1,000, will go towards helping ensure a greener future for our planet. You can donate by buying your ticket on Citizen Ticket, or you can give straight to our PayPal.
The climate emergency continues even while we’re distracted by coronavirus, so let’s keep fighting it together every step of the way.
Hearth Fire takes place on Saturday 31 October from 7PM. You can access it here on on our website, on Facebook and YouTube.