Big Art @ Big Love

A festival providing a unique platform for artists, musicians, creatives and technical crew in Wales.

Performer outside the mansion.

Contents

Would you like to perform or display your talent at Big Love, or to get involved with shaping the festival? Here are links to the different sections on this page to learn more.

1. Introduction

We're an annual 3-day music and arts festival held in Wales in June, featuring a range of established and emerging artists.

Big Love Festival takes place in and around a Victorian country mansion in Mid Wales, near Hay-on-Wye, with over 120 musical acts on 5 stages.

Although our original focus was music, in recent years we have expanded our scope to include a broad range of arts, including theatre, visual arts, spoken word, standup and interactive installations. Our main festival website can be found at biglovefestival.co.uk

We want to encourage artists and community groups — no matter what medium or form your work — to get involved. Our festival is a great blank canvas on which to show off your work!

We also have a limited number of volunteer places in production and technical roles. We're an open, friendly community, and we welcome new people getting involved; take a look at the creative and technical opportunities and options below.

We want you!

Everyone's welcome at Big Love but we especially want to encourage women, people from BAME backgrounds and people with disabilities to get involved.

We are particularly keen to encourage and support musicians and artists from under-represented sections of the community.

  • We are actively working towards our target of having women make up 50% of our performers. Our production, decor and build teams already consist of at least 50% female members and we continue to encourage this at all levels.
  • We especially want to encourage more BAME individuals to get involved, especially in production, creative and technical roles.
  • We also encourage applications from individuals with disabilities, whether musicians, artists or as crew.
Large group of performers and crew in front of an outdoor stage. Crowd enjoying a performance.

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2. Visual / Installation Artists

If you're an artist, we want to hear from you! Whether you create interactive installations, video art, oil paintings, A/V pieces, sculptures or something completely left-field, we'd love for you to be involved.

Sculptor carving stone.

Even before Covid-19 our budget was very small, but now we're basically 'running on fumes'! We'd love to be able to pay commissions to artists to create works for/at the festival, but right now that's just not possible. What we can do is provide an inspiring, varied environment of a country mansion, woods, marquees etc. where you are free to experiment or just exhibit existing works, plus an enthusiastic audience from across the UK.

We want to facilitate conversations and collaborations with other artists, and help you enjoy a supportive, non-exploitative gathering of like-minded people. And obviously if you are looking to get external arts funding for something specific, we'll be happy to work with you on this.

Interactive stuff always goes down well, but static displays can be cool too. Artwork can be created on site, or just displayed as a gallery; basically, we're up for most things, so long as they're safe, legal and creative!

In the past we've had everything from 30-minute projection mapped animations on the house, to interactive lighting installations. Cardiff artist Dan Green worked with graffiti artist FATCAP to produce a larger-than-life wall of Big Love attendees, with photos appearing within 24 hours. In 2019 London documentary photographer Mark O'Brien captured the festival attendees using a flatbed scanner, and again the results were printed and displayed in a 3D gallery on the last day.

So, if you're an artist and have an idea for something that might work at the festival, get in touch for a chat.

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3. Art & Creative Workshops

Share your creative passion and allow our attendees to try their hands in a workshop.

We love demonstrations of arts and crafts, especially when attendees can get involved and try the techniques themselves. In the past art and craft workshops have ranged from stone carving sessions with artist Anthony Lysycia, to theatrical mask making. If you have an idea for a creative workshop that you think would be a good fit at Big Love, drop us a line!

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Performers

Calling all music creators, poets, spoken word artists, theatre and circus performers and comedians! We're looking for the very best performers to showcase their talents at Big Love Festival.

4. Musicians

We're looking to support new songwriters, bands and other music creators.

Dana Immanuel & The Stolen Band playing the festival.

One of the main aims of Big Love is to provide a platform for emerging and unsigned music creators to perform alongside established acts, to bigger audiences and on bigger stages.

The application process for music creators looking to play the festival in 2021 will reopen in November 2020. Reggae, electronic, hip-hop, alternative, rock, dance, folk, Welsh language… we've hosted almost every genre, even a full classical orchestra! What we're looking for is quality and originality. We are particularly keen to receive applications from female acts. Our only policy is original music only, strictly no cover bands.

If selected you could find yourself on the same stage as some big-name international artists; in the past we've hosted the likes of KRS-One, Gilles Peterson, Mr Scruff, Beans on Toast, Sian Evans (Kosheen) and Ibibio Sound Machine.

To apply to play at the festival, visit the dedicated Play at Big Love page on our main site.

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5. Spoken Word / Comedy

There are a opportunities for spoken word and poetry performers and stand-up comedians.

We're looking for spoken word and poetry performers and stand-up comedians to perform the festival. You could be in one of the limited dedicated slots on our up-and-coming stage, or if you prefer, roving the site and finding fun spots to perform (funny hats optional!). If you've got something interesting or funny you think our audience would enjoy, let us know!

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6. Interactive Performance / Theatre

Big Love makes for a wonderful stage for theatrical, circus and interactive performances.

The festival can be a wonderful setting for all kinds of theatre and interactive performance pieces, whether you're a solo performer or part of something much larger.

The big country mansion makes a fantastic backdrop, or perhaps you could bring your performance inside one of the ornate rooms. There are also large lawns and the wooded hillside behind the house if you prefer. We'd love to hear what you can do with the environment!

For 2021 we're delighted to have acclaimed London director Dr. Luke Dixon bringing a theatre production to Big Love, but there are plenty more opportunities for other groups.

So, if you've an idea for something that might work at the festival, do get in touch!

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7. Community Groups

Big Love is all about inclusivity and community and therefore we welcome applications to perform or showcase work from community groups.

In the past we've hosted community groups such as Samba band Barracwda, but we're open to non-music groups. Please note we are an over-18s only event, so unfortunately at this time children are not allowed on site. If your community group or charity would be interested in collaborating or appearing, please do get in touch with us.

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8. Build & Decor

Help us put the festival together on-site.

If you want to be involved in how the site looks and can be on-site in the week before the festival, then why not join our build and decor teams? We can always use people with painting, set designing, sewing, rigging or carpentry skills, but anyone who's a team player and not afraid of hard work is welcome (qualified electricians are often worshipped as demi-gods!). In return you'll get a free ticket, be fed and watered and be part of a really fun team. Drop us a line to find out more.

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9. Production Crew

Big Love takes at least 9 months of planning and organisation, with a small team of volunteers meeting regularly in-person and online.

Marketing, booking artists, hiring equipment, crunching spreadsheets, organising crew, traders and medical teams, writing risk assessments, planning decor… there's always something to do, so we welcome new people getting involved! Roles are unpaid but are a good way for those with event management, marketing, promotion and production skills to gain real-world experience and help shape an established event going forward.

There are also a limited number of production roles during the event itself, in the production office and as stage managers, runners and artist liaison. These are not paid roles, but include accommodation and food. We are particularly keen to encourage applications for production roles from people with disabilities and people from BAME backgrounds.

Email us with your details and what skills and ideas you have!

For those that look good in hi-viz, there are also opportunities for volunteer stewards.

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Get in touch!

Bands and Music creators

Visit the dedicated Play at Big Love page.

Volunteer stewards

Use the volunteer form.

Contact form

This form is not for music creators applying to perform — please use this music performers link instead. If you are looking to volunteer as a steward, use the volunteer link.

Please make you you select the most appropriate subject for your message. Let us know what you're proposing or would like to be involved in, with links to your work / website / youtube if appropriate, or details of your skills and experience.