Stendhal Festival could not function without our volunteers. They give freely and tirelessly of their time and skills, and have helped turned Stendhal into an award-winning festival for the past two years.
In the first Q and A, we ask Lance, as one of our original volunteers, to tell us a bit more about himself and what he does at Ballymully Cottage in the lead up to the festival:
I’m Lance, I’ve been with Stendhal for years now, from the first festival and each year I try to bring something new with my own creative flair. I’m a freelance (Yeah I know, I get the joke a lot) Graphic designer and Video developer for my own company, Lancorz Designs. I produce a decent amount of advertising around the Limavady area and the North Coast where I’m now based, you may have seen some of my videos on YouTube showing some of what Limavady has to offer among some other strange videos I made during my studies. I specialised in Alternative Reality Games at university, long story short, I can make some pretty neat treasure hunts if you need one.
How did you get involved with Stendhal?
Four or maybe five years ago I contacted the Stendhal team from their website, back then it was promising entertainers and jugglers over the weekend event. I was curious who may be performing or if I could lend a hand during the event between university work, I just spent the last 3 years performing all around the country on stilts, juggling, fire breathing, you name it- I’ve probably done it.
What did we make you do?!
My first year at Stendhal was a lot of manual labor, I was around 23 at the time so prime real estate for some good old fashioned hauling stuff from one place to another. I loved the passion that everyone shared. I was getting to know new people and I accepted any job going, even throwing Stendhal cards on cars during the North West 200 weekend. The event itself I enjoyed thoroughly, helping out on the valley and stages until nightfall… I had amassed perhaps half of the population in a circle for my show.
How has volunteering for you changed over the years?
As years gone by the team found out that I’m able to hold a paintbrush and create a few signs that don’t look like roadworks.
I also began using my own experience and talents to help the festival in my own way, I made promotional videos which included the adorable Pandas and brought a different performance to the festival called the “Fruit and Veg Men”, as you can imagine we juggled toasters and kettles, sorry, different show… fruit and veg which really went well with the younger audience and it brought something new to the festival.
Last year I created a variety of “Stendhal Shorts” which aren’t neat undergarments for the sunny weather but rather 20-30 second videos showcasing a few volunteers and what they’ve been creating weeks before the festival. I also dedicated my whole weekend to filming behind the scenes footage and interviewed as many bands as I could during the event, you can see a lot of that footage on the #Limavady videos on my website, but they will all be used for a much larger project we have in mind.
What will you be doing for this year’s Stendhal?
As for this year, I’m not sure yet. Every week is a new adventure and I’m glad to be a part of this unique and kooky atmosphere of artists and dedicated fools year after year.
What would you say to anyone thinking of volunteering at Stendhal?
Fear is the biggest detriment of commitment, if you’re thinking about volunteering this year and you have a few select skills, we want you. There’s always a job suited for everyone, we cater to your skills and working together will always provide huge results. Van Gogh once said “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together”, we may be a small festival, but we make up for it in passionate teamwork.
What is the best thing about volunteering at Stendhal?
Volunteering anywhere grants you new friendships and life lessons along the way, some do it for CV guff, others do it because it gives purpose to something bigger, none of us are doing it for the money that’s for sure, but I’ll happily work away for a few hugs and laughs at the end of the day. Stendhal produces some of the best vibes around the hippy valleys, the people you meet are from all walks of life, with their own stories and granted their own problems too. Working together at the farm witnessing passion for creativity is something unique, each success is a mighty triumph and sure there’s failure, but we’re always failing together. We’re getting bigger each year, but we’re still a small family at heart. Each year that family gets closer and it’s always accepting new panda cubs.
Have you volunteered at any other events because of Stendhal?
I volunteer at events because it builds character, I like staying productive and challenging myself. I’ve always taken on large projects and proving to myself that I can complete them, I’m a Taurus too so I like to let people know when I’ve completed them, heh. Stendhal is a nice gateway for anyone thinking of volunteering somewhere for the first time, we’ll give you a welcoming hug, a noogie and a burger to end the day.
Lance is currently the designer behind the County Times newspaper, you can find more of his work at his website and blog at www.lancorz.co.uk
Created Keyframefame which is a 48 hour animation jam producing 3 full animations which showcased on all 22 BBC Big screens across the UK.
Presented and present on a panel at QCON Belfast for ARG play and research.
First person to unicycle across the Peace Bridge, Derry~Londonderry.
Rumoured to be a pretty cool guy.
If you want to be a Stendhal volunteer, get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org