The Edinburgh International Magazine Festival has the potential to re-imagine an international festival by focusing on the communities built around that most accessible of print media: the magazine.
For the past few months I have been supporting the Professional Publishers Association in Scotland to re-imagine “Magfest”, their annual conference, a great annual event held in Edinburgh.
I’ve worked with PPA in the past but I stumbled upon the conference being promoted online last year. And I was amazed at the quality of the speakers and the topics.
Magfest is ostensibly focused on the magazine industry so it’s normally attended by heads of magazines, publishers, journalists, photographers, graphic designers and all those business types interested in magazines.
But look under the surface of the magazine industry and you can see “the powerful, creative and cultural role of magazines.” And this is what got me interested.
Can we do something that helps people discover the important role of magazines?
Surely I thought, Magfest could have a wider audience. So I got back in touch with PPA Scotland. Four months later, the re-imagining of what a great industry conference can become has taken shape. I am really, really proud to have played a part in helping to design and launch the Edinburgh International Magazine Festival.
This is, as I am sure any event organiser can tell, a BIG undertaking, especially for a relatively small association. So my advice was to start a crowd funding campaign for the festival.
Not many organisations can afford to take big risks with new events, never mind a city wide festival! Well, a crowd funding campaign is a great way to set minds at ease as you limit the risk from launching the event. Let the public decide if your idea is something that they wish to support.
PPA Scotland hope to raise £7000 over the next few weeks to turn an idea into an international festival. And here are a couple of reasons why I really want this project to succeed.
PPA Scotland want to support local organisations to use magazines as an accessible form of literature. These organisations will include schools, colleges, universities, libraries and prisons. This is an international festival with a community based heart. This is so important in a world where new events have to be sustainable.
The other major reason I am supporting the Edinburgh International Magazine Festival is that I believe that magazines have a role to play in crushing “fake news”:
“As the ‘techlash’ against Silicon Valley gathers pace, magazines are a trusted voice with an in-built sense of community. According to Ofcom, magazines are the UK’s most trusted source for news. As the public turn away from clickbait and fake news, magazines provide reliable, quality content.”
There may be other reasons for you to support this project. Maybe it’s just because you LOVE your favourite magazine!
Whatever the reason may be, please do check out the fund raising page and if you can, support this amazing project.