The Deloraine Stringfest Facebook page Wednesday announced there would be no festival this year.
We are currently reviewing our options and dates for 2017.
That’s a shame.
Looking back at my comments on last year’s festival I still think those comments remain relevant.
Developing a broader audience from the non-musical side of the festival, so that the festival lives up to its objectives (and avoids becoming yet another music festival) is essential – but problematic!
Given the highly contentious and politicised nature of anything forestry related in Tasmania, putting more of the Festival focus on timber, timber growing and timber craftsmanship becomes difficult.
Where does the wood come from? Public native forest, World Heritage Area, lake salvage, farm salvage, commercial private grower??
Is the wood certified? Is it sustainable? Is it profitable?
All of this immediately generates tension and conflict because so many people have such a wide diversity of opinions and expectations.
How can the Festival navigate this social, political and economic minefield and survive?
But for the Festival to live up to its objectives that is exactly what it must do:
The Aims of Deloraine StringFest Tasmania are:
- To present a festival of stringed instruments, showcasing Tasmanian luthiers, Tasmanian tone-woods and instruments;
- To recognise Tasmanian instrumentalists and provide a social gathering for musicians, both professional and amateur;
- To highlight the craft of luthiers and the pre-eminence of Tasmanian timbers used world-wide to create quality crafted stringed instruments; and
- To provide ongoing recognition of Deloraine as a centre for craft and arts excellence.
The Festival must lead to the future and not be bound by the forest policies, practices and conflicts of the past.
A part of that future is profitable, sustainable farm-grown Tasmanian blackwood.