Whether the weather be fine…

Posted on 3rd July 2015 by Svend McEwan-Brown

I’ve discovered that as director of a medium-sized Festival you spend a surprising amount of your time online. ENF is not a big enough team to have someone dedicated to social media so I’ve been blogging, tweeting and posting all week – then there’s reviews and coverage to look out for, sales to catch up with and endless emails to answer. Not to mention keeping on top of the 2 other day jobs…

But every day, three bookmarked websites have command my attention overwhelmingly and obsessively. BBC Weather, Met Office and Norway’s Meteorologisk Insititutt – which was recommended to me as the most reliable weather forecasting site available. The weather is our blessing and bane. Nowhere looks finer than the East Neuk on a sunny morning. It lifts everyone’s spirits and puts a spring into the stride of audiences heading to a concert. Conversely, though we’re way to hardy for a shower or louring sky to put anyone off festival-ing, grey and damp weather doesn’t exactly add to the jollity of the whole thing. This is an annual gamble we all – organisers and audience – make together.

But this year the team have had extra reasons to watch those sites like hawks. Dotted through the week have been outdoor events. ENF has its quiet obsession with music and nature – and one thing we love is to put music into open-air locations. It is a wonderful thing to do – it makes people listen in different ways and relaxes them to enjoy the music in a way you never achieve indoors. It also gives the performers a wholly different context. And this year we have commissioned works for the open-air performance, most notably John Luther Adams’ ‘Across the Distance.’ What a roller-coaster ride! One day it looked catastrophic; the next day it was all clear. One site suggested lightning and downpours, the other a mere light cloud cover. Frankly I’m emotionally drained by it all…

Thankfully all of the sites seem to be going in the right direction now and the worst we might expect is a spotty shower. But if you are one of the hundreds of people coming to Cambo on Sunday I do urge you – keep an eye on the weather, and come equipped for all eventualities! Because the performance will be more than worth it.