07.09.14 — Journal

Blaze Festival 2014

So I’ve finally made it into my own bed after a super-busy extended weekend of Blaze Festival 2014 events!

The programme of events took place was centred around the Harris Museum & Art Gallery in Preston, but with many other satellite events taking place in Burnley, Accrington and Skelmersdale. Check out the events programme online here to get an idea of what we had going on!

As far as my design work for the festival went, I created five of the six “festival strand” icons; Portable Projection, Masquerade, Blaze Lounge, Level Up and Culture On A Shoestring — as well as the poster for the festival. Check those out in a blog post from a while back here!

After spending the weekend pretty much live tweeting the whole event (check out my Twitter here or search #BlazeFestival2014), here’s some highlights and photos from the festival!

The three musketeers

Here’s Ant, Jakub and Sarah chilling out in the library after a hard night of eating pizza and dumping balloons on people! Speaking of dumping the balloons on people (Ant’s idea to add an extra dimension to a Portable Projection screening of Indiana Jones!), here’s a photo…

Balloons everywhere in 'Club Obi Wan'

My greatest contribution to the actual running of the festival was to man the front desk, where could be found many, many copies of Culture On A Shoestring Issue 5! They arrived by the box from Newspaper Club

Hello, welcome to Blaze Festival 2014
I don't think we have enough...

It was strange to be sat in the Harris Library at night – quite eerie in fact! After a long day of festivities, me and Sarah thought it best that we nip down into Preston City Centre and treat ourself to frozen yoghurt and crêpes…

Spooky Harris Library at night
Nutella, banana and nut crêpe

Continuing on our culinary quest, Sarah also introduced the Blaze team to the wonders of Sue’s Ice Cream in Market Square! I opted for a sherbet-covered cone, whereas Laura went all out with “the works”, and ended up with this marshmallow-clad monstrosity! (Which caused marshmallowgate, but that’s an inside joke.)

Marshmallows on ice cream
And then sherbet on ice cream

By today (Sunday), the third day of the festival, we’d all gotten pretty tired – Jakub especially so after making porridge at 3:30am!

Shona and a rather tired looking Jakub

But no fear, for me and Shona still had the energy to treat the Harris Museum Staff to a rousing rendition of Cher’s “Believe” at 9am!

Me and Shona take over Blaze Lounge

In the afternoon I also took an hour to see Shona’s contribution to the festival – Masquerade’s Murder Mystery. Skeptical of the format of the interactive theatre production, I headed into the room where it all began and was blown away by the whirlwind hourlong performance, during which I struggled to differentiate reality from what was being acted out — even after I had dropped by on several rehearsals previously!

The performance really was a credit to Shona and the whole cast. I was so immersed in the experience that I didn’t have chance to take any photos, except this one that I snapped just after the Murder Mystery began…

Shona and the team kick off Masquerade's Murder Mystery

After the festival came the AGM, which consisted mostly of chilli con carne, nachos, cheese and milkshakes served in huge jugs and washed out Nutella pots!

With that delicious thought, I think I’ll end here. It’s been a long, tiring weekend, but it’s been so much fun and an absolute delight to see and work with everyone again. I’m also sad to see Laura leaving Blaze, but she’ll soon have an MA in tow and be on her way to bigger and greater things, so I wish her all the best!

Signing off now – Alton Towers tomorrow! I had better sleep!

Update: You can have a giggle at photos of me and my mum at Alton Towers here.