This was the year that never was. The 5th edition was due to start on 23 March 2020. Unfortunately by 19 March we were all safely locked away in our houses by order of Boris and the programme was cancelled.
It was going to be a great year featuring Byron Vincent, Hannah Maxwell, Richard DeDomenici and Jess Mabel Jones, Tayo Aluko, Gill Manly, Ellie Scanlan, Jenny Lockyer, Teatro Vivo, Parabolic, Trevor Lock, SLiDE, Shaniqua Benjamin and Well Versed Ink. There was performance, poetry, comedy, dance and theatre including premieres and commissions. However, all was not lost. Artists are a creative problem-solving bunch and found a way to immortalise their ideas in the digital realm.
Teatro Vivo worked with a number of the artists in the festival to create online what they had planned to do in person, giving us the video version of ‘Grimm’s Collecting Agency’.
The following year (admittedly after some procrastination) we jumped on the Zoom bandwagon and CroydonBites (that name comes up again) was our 3hr screen marathon featuring live and filmed performances, interviews, discussions and interactive activities. Around 200 people from 3 continents joined us to celebrate including Jim Barnard from the 2015 edition who co-hosted the event with Anna Arthur. It was a surprisingly satisfying evening.
Header photo by Vipul Sangoi