Meeting Muuti

by Ian Johnston | 1 January 2018

I think we owe it to ourselves to adapt and use new emergent technologies.

I’ve always enjoyed messing with technology in theatre. I think a lot of teachers out there in the IB world do too. ISTA itself has always championed experimentation, whether it be pushing the boundaries of how we approach festivals or searching for new avenues to explore in content, format, location and structure. I have been party to many late night conversations with workshop leaders, artists and teachers, and discovered glorious new tech through interacting with students. As a theatre-maker part of my remit is to keep theatre vital and in the words of Shatner “to boldly go” so I jumped at a chance I was given last year to take part in the Boomtown Festival

Boomtown has come a long way in a short time. A few years past a group of folk from Bristol or thereabouts got together to create the kind of festival they’d like to go to. The result nine years on is a massive festival that now caters to 60,000 people and one that has perhaps the largest immersive theatre element of any such undertaking. Boomtown, in addition to thirty six stages featuring almost every genre of music you could hope for, employs over one thousand actors to bring the story of Boomtown to life. Since its inception Boomtown has built all the normal shenanigans of a music festival around a narrative that grows every year. The story is curated by a group of artists and every successive Boomtown moves the story on a little more. The whole of the festival is sub-divided into factional areas.

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