Every events manager knows that the weeks leading up to a big project can be torture. On the morning on 15 June I was sitting with a group of my festival volunteers explaining its what I imagine having a child is like, the tension builds for week, the process itself is usually painful and you say you’ll never do it again – BUT as soon its all over you get a flush of endorphins and say it’s not that bad, and maybe you could do again after all.
A fresh faced volunteer turned to me and said ‘Is this the baby’, and I said, ‘yea Patrick, this right here is the baby!’. Now of course it doesn’t always work like that for everyone – but I think its a good analogy of my experience with the festival. Its all worth it when the collective community starts pouring onto Camberwell Green and you see your neighbours gravitating to the thing that you made!
In 2019 the CAF arts market was sponsored by Peabodys including 45 traders, from old hands to first year Camberwell Arts College students and from all works of life. We wanted everyone to share in our birthday feast, an idea that came to life with the help of Tanith Lindon who sourced donations from 20+ cafes, restaurants and supermarkets to feed over 250 people for free.
The stalls and market were augmented by bucketloads of free entertainment – balloon emojis and a pinata by Frog Morris, SEND inclusive sensory art workshops with Kat Durrant, music with Camberwell Choir School and Camberwell Recorder Players, dance performances from Theatre Peckham and Party Games with Blue Elephant Theatre.
There was also free childrens singing workshops with Camberwell Choir School, African dancing with Inci Turan, African drumming with Jahdiafolila and Interactive Camberwell Mapping with Kimbal Bumstead.
Crowd favourites were the Remakery geodesic dome and sustainable practice workshops and the insanely popular Dog Show , the brainchild of committee member Matthew Cuffe, – gathering dog-lovers across South East London and electrifying the festival crowds.
Commisions including the dome, special upcycled tables from the Remakery for the community feast and an exhibition suspended on helium balloons by Aidan Dabet AKA Daylight Robbery
Sincere thanks yous to all our amazing volunteers who gave their time to help us celebrate the Life of the Party (which is a much harder job than its sounds) – Aidan Fincham, Ali Kirby, Dilsah Kondakci, Francesca Gallo, Freya Gronow, Fuensanta Soriano, Jenni McGowan, Jiwon Park, Laura Furner, Laura Mullins, Lauren Johnston, Lilla Hargati, Menna Jones, Nadia Papaefthymiou, Patrick Lewis, Rebecca Pereira, Ruth Beddow, Silia Vitoratou, Sonia Sawinska, Tanith Lindon, Yuting Yang.
And also to my colleafues on the CAF team, Kelly Blaney, Kelly O’Reilly, Matthew Cuffe and Nuala McLaren but most of all to market queen and Camberwell legend Debbie Allen – the brains, spirit and passion behind the CAF19 flagship event!!!
Big feast supported by our generous friends at The Pigeonhole, Mike & Ollie, Falafel & Sharwarma, Pizza Organica, Fernando’s, Daily Goods, The Hill Bakery, Sophocles, Mono, Morrisons – Butterfly Walk, Latin House, I Go Chop, Co Op – Denmark Hill, Caravaggio, Caffe Pronto, Reem, TFC Supermarket
Camberwell Arts Festival Art of the Party was kindly sponsored by Peabodys estate agents. Camberwell Arts Festival was lead sponsor is Respublica property developers and Southwark presents.
Photo’s by Chun Yue Chou
and Silia Vitoratou