An idea formed by a group of East 15 graduates, Rooted Moon debuted in 2015 with the intention of creating a platform for artists to perform their works to an international audience. Based on the beautiful Italian Island of Sardinia, Rooted Moon cleverly combines theatre and travel to produce a festival worth putting on your to do list. Co-Founder Salv Scarpa tells us more about what to expect from this year’s festival.
Hi Salv, Rooted Moon Festival will take place from the 20th to 22nd July. How are you feeling ahead of the festival?
Hey Lucy, that’s right! We’re very excited to bring this year’s edition to life! It’s been a very quick process this year, and with just over one month to go, we’re really looking forward to hosting our wonderful performers in a brand new location. Castelsardo (this year’s beautiful venue) has given us tremendous support, which has made the organisational process a real pleasure!
The festival will take place on the beautiful Italian island of Sardinia. Why base the festival there in particular?
The festival will take place in the north of the Island, and will be hosted by Castelsardo Council in the magical historic centre of the town (google it, it’s beautiful!). The council is really supportive of the arts and has made us feel welcome.
I’m originally from Sardinia, in 2015 the Rooted Moon Team was looking for a location to host artists and give them the opportunity to perform on an international platform. We aim to bring value to places of historical significance and merge our festival with these beautiful settings. Sardinia seemed like the perfect place! Since then we have used different venues on the island each year!
How do you select what shows make the final programme?
This is always a very hard process, because ideally we would welcome all the wonderful performers that apply to join the Rooted Moon family.
Because our audiences will be made up of locals, tourists and international artists, we tend to look for acts that don’t rely on text as the main form of communication and story telling. Our aim is to break language barriers and to offer theatre that will challenge and educate an international audience.
What can audiences expect from this year’s festival?
They can expect to be entertained in one of the most beautiful places on Earth over three nights filled with theatre, art and music.
What are the challenges of organising an arts festival?
Finding funding is always a challenge, but we all knew that already.
For us it was working internationally that proved to be the biggest hurdle. Finding team members that can work fluently both in the UK and in Italy. The Rooted Moon Team is based in London, so bringing a festival to life in Sardina, isn’t easy!
The first festival took place in 2015, have there been any changes to the format since?
Yes! So many… It will continue to change until we find the perfect formula. We also have to adapt to the venues that host us and to the acts that perform. The festival is still young, so we are willing to try new things each year.
In terms of theatre, what does Sardinia currently offer at present?
Sardinia has a rich culture of traditional theatre and ritualistic performances such as Ballo Sardo, Mamuthones and Canto a Tenore. A lot of it is hidden away and only those with a particular interest would know of it.
There are many interesting performers already on the island that will be joining us this year. There is a real interest in what we bring each year, and definitely a growing thirst for more theatre!
What advice would you give to aspiring theatre festival producers?
Just do it. Don’t be afraid to bring what you imagine to life. Put together a team of people that you trust, and start working long before the festival. Don’t be afraid to fail, this will only teach you lessons for the next year. Also, be prepared to work hard. It doesn’t happen by itself…
Questions by Lucy Basaba.
Rooted Moon Festival will take place from Friday 20th until Sunday 22nd July 2018 in Castelsardo – Sardinia. To find out more about this year’s festival, visit here…