Thursday, 28 February 2013

//BUZZCUT// Festival

It's difficult to imagine that the //BUZZCUT// Festival is only really a year old. Since it emerged last year - in some ways from the wreckage of the New Territories programme, although there is no formal connection between the two festivals - it has turned up at The Glasgow International Fringe, Tramway's Freshfaced and manipulate. Their vision of "two artists making space for more art" has placed them apart from the usual approach to curation, since they offer artists an opportunity to present their work in unusual formats and venues.

After the debut festival at The Old Hairdressers, the first four days will be happening at Mono - better known for music gigs (and the cool record shop off the side of the bar) - before heading up to the more familiar Glue Factory for a final blast. With fifty odd artists rolling into town, including acts from Iceland and Germany, //BUZZCUT// does echo the glory days of The National Review of Live Art. Yet its emphasis on emerging artists connects it to an emerging network of events that support work that might otherwise struggle for exposure.

"Last year it was distinctive because it was an artist-led, no-funding/budget first time festival but that also had a really extensive programme," says co-curator Nick Anderson. "This year what we're really hoping will work will is that we're focusing the programme around community and making the Trongate area, in particular, a really busy area for just under a week."  

There are a few artists who can be recognised from the NRLA - Richard Layzell and Richard DeDomenici (who both do a variation on the humorous lecture demonstration, with added antics and subversion), as well as names that have become familiar from last year's festival - Ultimate Dancer, and Greg Sinclair (post-modern choreography and quick-fire composer respectively). But unlike many festivals, the vague gestures towards building a community and dialogue are replaced by a genuine forum.

"The programme is kicked off every day with a lunch event for artists, volunteers and delegates to be fed, chat to each other," Nick continues. "And each day's lunch will also be hosted by a different artist. Then audiences and everyone can be engaging with work throughout all the afternoon, with the evening showing studio based performances in our disused shop that we're renovating!"

This is undeniably a major shift from even the radical festivals planned by Arika: the focus is as much on the dialogue as the performances. And while some of the artists may be new to Buzzcut, they are familiar in Glasgow: Eilidh MacAskil from Fish and Game, Andy Field from Forest Fringe, Jack Webb and Hunt and Darton, who has their own art cafe at the 2012 Fringe. 

"And of course we're then off to the Glue Factory on the last day," Anderson concludes "Which is a very distinctive day in itself, if last year is anything to go by. Just an amazing space for performance: artists can really be site-specific or responsive in all of its nooks and crannies! Also, it'll be great to bring everyone under the same roof for a big day-long performance-fest!"

27th-31st March,
Across multiple venues in Glasgow.
Pay What You Can!

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