Following the astonishing success of the Online Beltane Festival, Debi Gregory and the PF Disabilities team are now looking at staging a solstice event.
The solstice event is very unlikely to spread itself over as much time as the Beltane one, whose eight day run on Facebook reached over 20,000 people and had an astonishing 1000 active participants.
“We have a very summery theme in mind with workshops about gardening and an inclusive online picnic, as well as the ritual. It will probably only be a one day event though, possibly two if we have the wealth of volunteers that we had last time,” Debi says.
Nevertheless, held over one or two days it will build on some impressive momentum from the Beltane event: whose success is all the more praiseworthy considering that that event was conceived, planned and went live in the space of just over a week.
“I was expecting one hundred people at my most optimistic, so when I saw that number at only halfway through the week I was utterly flabbergasted,” says Debi. “We had so many technical issues as we were all using so many different devices between us that we now have a wealth of experience. I think between all the speakers there aren’t many devices and apps we didn’t try.”
The team is now looking at expanding the event beyond Facebook’s walled garden and taking content onto Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo and further, and even looking at being able to add subtitles to the video content.
“It was all very much a baptism by fire and, despite banging my head on the table at the unprofessional structure, we’ve still received nothing but praise,” says Debi. “Hopefully people were so dazzled by the novelty of the concept they won’t remember how chaotic it was and next time we can do much better.”
1000 active participants, it seems, might only be the start. We’ll pass on any further details when we get them. And in the meantime, you can read the Beltane Festival archive and watch all the videos here.