kicking the void
Can you imagine a week spent living in a tent, underneath the hot summer sun of interior Mediterranean South, besides a beautiful lagoon like dam, in a community centred festival, where everything seems to happen out of the miracle conjugated by the joint force of people working together for a better world? Long question, we know, but not a very easy experience to relate. Andanças is one of the biggest Folk Dance Festivals in Europe, an amazing social and creative experience for anyone who loves traditionally inspired music and social dances.
Andanças: Internacional Folk Music Festival
VIDEO BY MIGUEL BARRIGA
Andanças has around 33.000 participants each year, people mobilized by its 4 pillars, actually its core concept:
Emerging contemporary world and folk music and it’s social dances are Andanças main feature program. But there are many proposals throughout the week, more than 700 in total. Ranging from dance and music related workshops, concerts and balls to relaxation and wellbeing, local handicrafts and cuisine, walks and talks, kids programs and more. Every activity is an opportunity to participate.
The structure of the festival takes up to 1500 volunteers. These cover many areas in the Festival, from medical aid, program and artistic production, building and assembling, kitchen and food serving, cleaning and trash disposal. Coordinating everyone feels like a miracle of engendered synergies!
Andanças works closely with its surrounding community, pursuing the aim to contribute to local wealth and growth. Most of its suppliers are locally based, talks and debates are promoted, and cultural programing engages with representation of local artists, artisans, scientists and people who come to share their knowledge with visitors.
PédeXumbo, the organizers, are actively engaged in reflecting and contributing to change the way Festivals impact in nature. Their goal is to get as close as possible to the idealized goal of “zero waste”, by investing in local cycles of producing, aiming for a zero kilometres policies and less possible impact in materials used for the construction facilities; rejecting the use of plastics and generally contributing to more sustainable consumption pattern and lifestyle.
The briefing to this project happened as follows, this is a true story: Mário Roda was called to a Skype meeting with Ana Martins, general coordinator, and Catarina Serrazina, responsible for communication. They dropped it like a bomb:
— Next week we are launching the first elements for Andanças 20th commemoration edition. Want to jump in? Off course he said: — Are you crazy? Next week? Hell yeah!!
We had a lot of creative liberty, and only a couple of mandatory conditions: Preserving Andanças tree as the permanent main symbol. Conveying all of the Festival’s trademark ideals, recognized by all of those who make it special every year: Celebration, Joy, Ecology, Sharing and Folk Music.
On top: the main poster for the event features Andanças tree, a key element used to identify the Festival in all of its graphic supports. The tree was developed from previous designs as a simplified version. It was used with either one colour or with colour and texture, depending on the context of application. Other posters were developed to promote specific activities or products throughout the duration of the festival.
We chose Lato typeface, much because of its considerable spectrum of variants, ranging from thin to black, suiting all communication needs. Also it offered a good compromise with the Festival’s core concepts of sharing and reuse, since Lato typeface is a high-quality open-source font family designed by Polish designer Łukasz Dziedzic.
Website and digital
The website was launched nine months before Andanças actually happened, it was the first communication support made public.
It had huge impact as multiplatform, disseminating information with broader audiences, but also volunteers, artists and entrepreneurs since it was used to broadcast candidacy deadlines on all areas. Emphasizing the Festival’s growing proximity, the logo, the tree and other digital graphic elements — like cover photos and email signatures — would update every changing season.
Illustration for all digital graphic elements would change with the rhythm of the seasons. First Autumn, Winter, Spring and finally, near to the beginning of the Festival, we assumed a very Festive Summer ambience in both digital and, henceforward, printed materials.
A great deal of materials needed for the Festival were invested with a coherent graphic identity. From tokens exchanged as the Festival’s currency, space identification signals and cd cover, all were created purposely with the singular identity created for it’s 2015 commemorative edition.
Both printing and serigraphy were used for these craft paper cards, glued over 1mm cardboard.They were designed to be printed on just one of the sides, so that the other was left blank. Each team member would then use their own customized stamp, printing the exact number of cards they needed. Besides cutting down waste, this gave way for a more personalized touch.
The more intricate and complex task of the Project was organizing and giving clarity to an extensive 700, week long activities program. Distributed through more than 8 different spaces, corresponding to more than 7 different typologies, it was mind puzzling! In the end the full printed program fitted in a leaflet no bigger than an average adult’s hand. It was intended to be easy to carry and read.
Wayfinding and stage programs
Each stage had it’s own version of the program. We decided to break with the previous use of big printed canvas and, for the same price, we used MDF boards: better looking, durable, re-usable and “writeable”.
Due to the massive amount of activities there are usually a lot of last minute program changes. To surpass this problem, each board was left with a chunk of chalkboard were organization members could write daily updates and notes.
This materials contributed to a feeling of overall freedom, informality and participation. Everyone could write something up if they found a piece of chalk!