June 25, 2017

The Next Text Festival


On a fairly regular basis I am asked when the next Text Festival will be. My reply is always that the Text happens when there is something for it to investigate. My answer over the last year has also pointed to a European funding bid which if it had been successful would have linked a festival in 2018 with developments in Finland , Italy and Srpska
So, we were waiting to hear the EU decision. There is still the possibility of funding but either way it feels about time to announce the Text Festival – maybe also triggered by the Random Archive




Generally, I subscribe to John Peel’s philosophy that the next song is more interesting that the last one.  So, researchers of the Text Festival have been frustrated over the years when trying to study its four manifestations by my mild disinterest in Text Festival nostalgia. Luckily, Susan Lord has over the last few years been working to establish the Text Archive and curated the current Random Archive working with the quite significant collection and memory-trail of the Festivals. Despite my penchant for new ideas, seeing the Text history (and its reinvigoration through someone else’s eyes) has been fascinating and reminiscent – there’d been things I’d forgotten.

Anyway, more importantly perhaps, the next Text Festival will be in 2019. No rush for submissions. Curatorially there needs to be some serious research and thinking. My initially thinking is that it needs to focus on the New. It’s time for it to reinvent and challenge itself. The conversations and thinking will begin to be tested at the closing Random Archive Symposium at Bury Art Museum on 12 August.