Lyric Lounge Leicester 2010

Let me prepare you. This is the longest post I’ve done… yet. Make a nice cup of tea. Get comfy. Enjoy.

Lyric Lounge Leicester. 3 day site specific poetry and spoken word festival. This year it completely took over New Walk Museum. I don’t think the place (or the staff) will ever be the same again.

I don’t think anything can truly express the wonder that this festival holds. It was just incredible. The energy, the creativity and talent, the faces and love and warmth.
My feet ache, I’m so tired and I feel so happy and accomplished.

So much happened, it was a wonder anyone could remember it all… sure meant the promotion team had their work cut out for them in the mornings telling visitors what was happening each day but that was the beauty of the festival. There was something for everyone and each workshop was a doorway to something new. I worked pretty much non stop but I took every opportunity to go and see what was happening in each workshop and talked to the people that had attended them. I never heard a bad word, everyone was so excited about what they were doing. It was really heartwarming to hear.
I sat and I watched both of the dance and poetry workshops on Saturday. They were breath taking. The open mics everyday were fantastic to attend. Everyone who read something out were just lovely to watch. I suffer with stage fright, so I can guess the nerves some people must feel and it was lovely to watch people getting up infront of people and reading out their lovely poetry despite that. We’d spent the weekend(s) before the festival preparing the poetry fridge (a wandering fridge on which you could use “magnets” to create poetry) and the week preparing the poetrees… both were a success. That fridge was so popular with kids and volunteers alike. There was one girl that came over to me when I was walking around in the fridge and she’d written a poem about the mummies in the Ancient Egypt exhibition and she was so excited about creating it on the fridge and having her picture taken with it and the mummy. My heart just melted. The Happenings were definitely fun for all involved and so creative!
ILUVLYRICS, John Hegley and Mark Gwynne Jones and the Psychicbread where all amazing in their own right. It was lovely to watch so many talented kids battle it out at the ILUVLYRICS show on Friday night. John Hegley had my eyes watering with laughter on Saturday, definitely feeling the love there. My Papa came to that show and when he was driving me home that night he was telling me how impressed he was with the festival and how much he enjoyed the show. I adored Mark Gwynne Jones and the Psychicbread! They were INCREDIBLE!!!! And so friendly. All of them talked to me as I cleared the stage with the sound tech that night. I was blown away by their performance.
I enjoyed talking to people and telling them about everything that was going on. I had a great time hanging out with Big Bob, the sound tech, as he taught me tricks, tips and techniques over the weekend. He was so understanding and helpful when I didn’t understand something and as he worked he made sure to talk and explain and walk me through things. It was a great learning environment to be in. I really appreciate that he did that when he wasn’t paid to and I’m thankful for the time he spent with me.
Writeable table clothes were a stroke of genius. It was nice to walk around the coffee shop and see what people had come up with. I know that my boyfriend really enjoyed sitting and writing whilst he had a coffee. He was so proud that he’d written some new things. He doesn’t share his work readily and all weekend he was so proud of what he was doing and was keen to share things with me. The festival really bought him out of himself creatively. Made me beam with pride and love.
There’s just so much. The meetings were incredible. It was great being involved with promoting and creating interactive things around the festival. It was great working everyday of the festival… although I wish I’d not worn my Doc Martins. Eh, you live, you learn. Everytime I think about the whole experience I smile. When I think about all the different things I got to experience I smile. When I think about the people I worked with I smile. When I think of the new friends I’ve made I smile.

The thing that really stuck with me the whole way through working on Lyric Lounge, from the first volunteer meetings to the end of the last night, was how everyone was so included within it. Everyone was made to feel like they were contributing and that they were valuable… at least that’s what I felt happened. And there was special magic between myself and a number of the other volunteers and even some of the museum staff. We formed a bond and a friendship was born. And nothing can take that away from us. And I get to continue working with them on the radio show. Yay!

I got involved at a time when I was feeling very lonely and sad and worried about the future. I was unsure of what I wanted to do, where I was going and whether I was really cut out for the music world. Finishing university was a scary thing and Lyric Lounge got me through a lot of the feelings I was dealing with. I kind of feel like I’m on more of a path now with having worked so much and finding a love of something that I can include with my music. I want to do everything, I pretty much did as much as I could at Lyric Lounge and I’ve found that… it’s hard to explain. I just feel a lot more positive about things than I did when I was facing a graduation with no job and nothing to do. I hate having nothing to do. It depresses me and waking up everyday to work at Lyric Lounge with all these people that I enjoy being around was such a blessing.

Lyric Lounge was incredible. I may be exhausted, achey and feeling a little like I jumped into the deep end of the crazy pool (not that I was sane before this experience) but I loved every second of it. I’ve come through it and I feel different. Lighter. I feel more determination than ever before to do something with my life, to pursue whatever I find creative and enjoyable and makes me happy. And I feel a greater need to give back to others. I never expected to get anything out of this, except maybe some more experience and to help out. I never thought I’d walk away with so many new friends and work as much as I did because I felt such a great need to be there to help them as much as I was able to. I freaked myself out yesterday when I thought “what would I be doing now if I hadn’t volunteered?”. I’m glad I don’t have to answer that question. I feel apart of something and I hope everyone experiences that feeling as some point.

And there is no way I’m ending this without mention of the wonderful mind that made it all possible. Lydia Towsey worked so damn hard on this and we all thought it was a major success. She deserves a lot of praise and appreciation. Without her Lyric Lounge Leicester wouldn’t have happened. She carried off the weekend with style and grace… quite literally style! She looked lovely at the evening shows (Lydia, if you’re reading this… you did!!)
She made everyone feeling included, wanted and was keen to help people build and develop their skills in the areas that they enjoyed. She was always encouraging me to work on sound and music stuff as much as possible. I’m running an event of my own later in the year. If I do a job half as good as Ms Towsey did this weekend, my event will be a resounding success. Very inspirational. And I was happy to hear her read her poetry too! Just lovely. I can’t say enough nice things about Lydia. She looked out for me a lot when she really didn’t need to and I really appreciate that. She put up with me. She made a great impression on my family members that I introduced her to. I hope that we’ll remain friends and of course we still have the radio show to work on. I intend to work with her again on this kind of project in the future if she’ll be able to handle it and wants me there.

Wow, if you read that all you are a champion! I hope you’ve just fallen in love with Lyric Lounge the way I have and help us keep it going!

I’m going to end on this: I walked away with new friends. I walked away with such a sense of self and accomplishment. No one can ever take that away from me

Much love


2 Responses to “Lyric Lounge Leicester 2010”

  1. Lauren, the above is so kind. It was wonderful to have you involved. We’ll see each other soon 🙂

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