26 January 2021
By Elaine Murphy
Festivals and event organisers throughout Cork County are set to benefit from Cork County Council’s dedicated ‘Virtual Festival’ training programme.
The need for such a programme was identified from the Council’s engagement with Festival Organisers, with many forced to cancel their events last year and others organising virtual events for the first time. A survey, circulated to 2020 Festival Grant Recipients in December, clearly identified training in ‘virtual festival’ development as a knowledge gap.
Commenting on the new offering, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley said, ‘The unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic seriously affected the Cork festival calendar in 2020 with organisers doing their best to deliver virtual events where possible. This year, we know that the impacts will continue, and the virtual offering will be a critical aspect of the festival scene. We are delighted to support festivals organisers and assist them in adapting through this training.’
Starting on January 27th, the programme will consist of a series of 10 online training classes delivered over a 3-week-period which aims to better equip organisers with the tools needed to deliver a ‘virtual festival’. 33 of Cork’s festivals will be represented with over 50 people registered to attend the online sessions.
Participants benefitting from this bespoke learning programme will engage in training areas which include digital marketing, content marketing, social media advertising, video production and editing, as well as a dedicated ‘virtual festivals’ class.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey added, ‘Festivals form a very important part of Cork’s tourism offering. They are a key driver of economic growth and a unique cultural asset. In recognition of this, Cork County Council continues to provide substantial supports for festivals on an annual basis, including the financial support of over 100 events each year. In 2021, we want to ensure that festivals are well equipped to incorporate virtual elements into their events and to maximise their skills in areas such as marketing and content creation. This will help to keep culture alive throughout the county during these difficult times.’