How to be a Good Festival Punter

Follow Fest's tips for getting the most out of the festival season before it's over for another year

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How to be a good punter
Published 24 Feb 2018

Do your research! Before you know it, the festival season will have flashed by. Flick through the guides and find performances and works that are of interest. Plan some shows and ask around for recommendations.

Talk about your experiences! Chat to friends, colleagues, family, your pets, anyone who will listen about your festival experiences. How did a show make you feel? How did it change you? What questions about your life experiences did it bring up? Recommend shows to people you think might enjoy them.

Immerse yourself! Spend time in and around the festivals any way you can. Check out free shows, or attend free events like Writers' Week to make the most of the season. Meet new people at events and shows. Performers travel around the world meeting new people and are more than likely going to be happy to discuss their work with you!

Challenge yourself! Allow yourself to see a confronting piece of theatre, or be vulnerable enough to cry at a performance. Performing arts are about the expression and the emotion of the human experience – delve deep.

Try something new! Wherever possible, expand your horizons by trying a genre you haven’t seen before or by checking out a show you haven’t heard of yet. Maybe the performers will be just starting their careers and you may just stumble upon a gem that will make headlines in years to come.

Be a good audience member! Remember that the people on stage are doing what they love, and usually have a personal message they’re trying to share. Show them good audience skills. Give them your full attention during their performance, respect their craft (even if it isn’t your usual type of show), and, of course, applaud at the end. Performers put their heart and soul into their work.

Take it easy! Keep in mind that the festival season is a marathon, not a sprint. Take care of yourself, take breaks, breathe.