Just a quick intro from myself (Gary – the Web Guy). Having Samantha on board has been fantastic, especially from my point of view. Not only has she spent absolutely hours interviewing bands & performers, coordinating photo shoots, making videos and chasing various people for information, she also learned (very quickly) how to update this website and how to create blog posts … therefore, not only saving myself a lot of time, but making the Festival website much more interesting and informative than in previous years. So I’d like to say a huge personal THANK YOU for all of Sam’s hard work, enthusiasm and dedication!!
Festival performer and friend of Sam’s, Rosie Horne interviewed Samantha about her involvement with the festival this year…..
Hi Sam, Tell us about yourself…
I am a Teaching Assistant 4 days a week, on my day off I attend university to achieve my teaching qualification and a mum to 2 wonderful boys! Photography and live music are a passion of mine and I try to combine the both as much as possible.
What interests you about being involved with Ashford Festival in the Park?
Firstly for me it is about children and young people being exposed to live music. It is a great outlet, and we should be encouraging children to pick up an instrument and find themselves through music. I approached Ed about taking photo’s at this year’s festival and also offered to publicise it through social media and that is how I got involved.
What makes Ashford Festival in the Park different to other Festivals for you?
It is all about local talents in many forms, organisers, bands, musicians and vendors who are all local to Ashford. It is also family friendly, and working in an educational environment I see first-hand how families need free events like this to have some quality down time together. It has something for everyone which is key to a successful festival.
What do you enjoy most about organising the Festival and are we seeing anything different this year?
Getting to know bands has been great fun, I have offered free promotional shoots for all performers and they have been great to be involved in. The Festival is extended over 3 days this year starting on the Friday night, so that is a big difference and will kick off the weekend with style.
You have taken to Social Media this year for a lot of the Promotion. How is this working for you and for Ashford Festival in the Park?
I feel that it can only be working in a positive way. I have lived in Ashford for over 10 years and only found out about the Festival about 4 years ago! It needs more media coverage, and social media is a great platform for this. I love social media and its ability to connect people and events. I have attended many events advertised or shared on Facebook that I may never have thought about. I believe that sharing information about the festival can only encourage and excite people about this year’s event, so fingers crossed my theory pays off!
And finally… You have taken the bull by the horns with running the Marketing for Ashford Festival in the Park. On offer to all Artists and Performers are Radio Slots, Interviews, Photo Shoots and much more. How important to you is the availability of this for everyone involved with the Festival and what has the response been throughout?
This festival is vitally important to Ashford, Ed started something amazing 11 years ago and for local bands, musicians and companies alike it is a great way to celebrate everything on offer in Ashford and get the community together.
To be honest on part everyone has been really up for helping me promote the Festival. I have done over 25 interviews so far, various photography assignments to capture performers who are on the line-up, attended and organised radio show appearances for as many acts as possible and organised some new vendors for this year’s festival. It is hard work and I have been very busy….But totally worth it!
I am a small part of a group committed to making the festival a success every year. This is my first year helping out, so I am keen to make a difference no matter how small. I am loving my new found passion for PR!