hi all- Meredith here.
I’ve been meaning to post since Thursday, but haven’t been near my computer for longer than a few minutes at a time. So, here goes. Happy weekend! It’s beautiful out so far this morning – warm and sunny… perfect day for an….outdoor music festival!
And that’s convenient, because I’ve got just the festival to direct you to.
Today is the big day for the Skeleton Park Music Festival. It’s an independent festival that happens in a small downtown park that just happens to be located right in the middle of an engaged and diverse community. The festival’s been happening for a number of years now – this is year 6 – and always attracts an interesting crowd. Because it attracts great acts, music lovers are drawn out. Because there are lots of activities for kids and families, you get that energy, too (there’s even a family tug-of-war and a kids parade at one point this afternoon).
The reason I’m thinking about it this morning is this: last year I attended the festival for the first time, meeting a few new people and catching a couple interesting bands, before going on my merry way.
This year I’ve been working as part of the festival’s promotions team and will be helping MC the show.
What a change a year can make, no?
It’s amazing how things can change when you ease your way out from under the academic bubble and start to make a real commitment to a community — not that the academic bubble is a bad place, but it’s a temporary and transient sort of place. The community that throws music festivals in their local park is a much more rooted one. It takes longer to break in, certainly (the benefit of the academic bubble is that you’re all there together, feeling new and awkward, so it’s easy to bond quickly), but the connections may have more depth in the end.
And it’s been interesting to see how getting involved in one or two things (or meeting one or two key people) can make all the difference. For me it’s been a very gradual process — seeing people repeatedly at local coffee shops, being formally introduced through friends, then having more and longer conversations. I was asked to take part in a panel discussion where I met a whack of people. The organizer of that discussion then asked me to take part in a second. He then realized that my skill set might make me a good person to help do PR for this festival… and so it goes.
Even though I am busy, I took the volunteer gig — because I had a sense that in terms of community-building and meeting people, it was an experience I’d be silly to turn down. And I think I was right – I’ve already met lots more people (and will probably meet more today) and am feeling warm and fuzzy about this little community.
If you’re in Kingston today, it would be great to see you at the show! If not, enjoy whatever you get up to…