T-minus 2 weeks until FLUX Blast off!


It’s all coming together!!  Our brand new shiny website is finally live and we’re thrilled with the way it’s looking – http://fluxliverpool.com

The guides are hot off the press and they’re beautiful – better than we could have imagined and we’re super pleased with the inclusion of our cheeky tagline – #FLUXYEAH

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This week saw the TATE host yet another meeting of planning for the busy weeks to come. Half of the group are on holiday and we’re powering on – even while Jack makes us jealous tweeting us from the beach!

Suzy is currently working to maximise the social media hype and has reached a world record of 15 new followers in 5 minutes! You go girl!

Amy and Holly are currently compiling an endless list of contacts for our #FLUXSKILLS division of the festival. Confirmations of all aspects have been rolling in! (Click here for more FLUXSKILLS info)

AJ and Joe are keeping up the momentum as we hurtle towards their Day at the Dome – not to be missed! Watch out on twitter for the full line-up announcement and give the artists that are performing a follow, you know you want too!


Our app is available to download from itunes and is compatible for both I-phone and android. (Click to download here)
It is utterly excellent!

It includes…..
– Full event listings and info
– A map of all the events
– News
– And of course, THE FLUX MISSIONS!


Go ahead and download it!


We are looking for volunteers to help during the whole festival! If you are interested in working in the creative industries, and looking for a fantastic addition to your cv, then this is the perfect opportunity for you! For more info, please visit http://fluxliverpool.com/about/#get-involved

Seriously though, the anticipation is escalating and the excitement is off the scale! Us Ambassadors just can’t wait for FLUX to kick off!

Please Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and IdeasTap !

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Hard at work – programming!


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CEO Meeting at the Bluecoat

Arriving at the Bluecoat bright and early, the FLUX Ambassadors convened around a table in the café to have a chit-chat before the meeting.  We were instructed to grab a hot drink and spread out across the tables so that we could mingle with the CEOs (and show off about how amazing we are). Mary from the Bluecoat kindly opened the meeting and introduced our wonderful Creative Producer Alex, who had prepared a comprehensive presentation to update everyone on what we’ve been up to.

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There had been talk of toast, and we were getting twitchy, but thankfully it did make its appearance by the end of the presentation. The CEOs moved in for the kill instantaneously… I blinked and almost missed it!


Alex lead an informative and stimulating presentation, creating a palpable sense of excitement in the room (which is a tough feat when working with PowerPoint.) Ambassadors Amy and Emma chipped in to discuss the iDat App meeting and the initial intensive weekend for the festival. The presentation included our impressive social capital of 19,444 – the sum of our collective social media reach, this is clearly a number that can go a long way!

Charlotte and Christina from Open Culture next gave us a quick run-through of the marketing strategy so far, and what is to come. The website has been created and flyers are on their way. They then facilitated a discussion about ensuring Flux has a future – what can we do to make this happen? This was an opportunity for anyone and everyone to chip in and share ideas. The first point that was made in this discussion was the importance of establishing Flux’s KEY MESSAGES. We discussed Flux as not just a festival but as a concept, a catalyst for change. This is its unique selling point.


The CEOs felt the need to develop a structure and system for progress which will allow Flux to become self-sustaining. One idea we loved was having a cyclical influx of young people to tick over as Festival Ambassadors/ Producers.

It was even suggested that the current ambassadors would be running the festival in the future – we like the sound of that!

The discussion progressed on to the importance of Flux being a game-changing concept , so that beyond the 2014 festival there will be a focus on an expansion of learning and knowledge sharing in the industry, with the hope of developing a model of excellence in youth-led practise and co-production.

We got a wealth of thought-provoking and exciting ideas from this discussion, but being pushed for time we had to move on to the next talking point: Flux skills. Being mindful of the fact that these sorts of events can often be fairly dry, the focus was for it to be a new take on how to break in to a creative career.

A stand-out suggestion that was made was for the mentoring to be reciprocal instead of the age-old dynamic of mentor-mentee relationships. The artist (or whoever it might be) should have things to learn in reverse.

Another amazing suggestion came from Gemma, CEO of Everyman and Playhouse theatres. She impressed the limitations that can come behind the words ‘creative arts’. It can be an instant turn-off for people who do not consider themselves creative. She introduced the idea of artisan skills being a part of Flux skills; this involves expanding the definition of what it means to have creative skill. We don’t want to forget the skilled people who might be interested in construction or makeup – there are roles for them in theatre. In this sense we can engage a broader range of people in the arts.

We were so deep in discussion by this point that it was a shock to hear that the meeting was over. Success! WE HAVE SO MUCH TO DO but we are so excited.









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Go-and-See: Liverpool Sound City 2014

FLUX Liverpool @ Sound City 2014

Grassroots Ambassadors AJ and Creaky ‘Go-and-See’ how a big-budget festival functions from the inside


Thursday, 11:00am, Leaving the Bluecoat

Having already washed our faces with CEO scrub that morning, AJ and I were feeling fresh and ready for the commercial world that lay ahead of us. There stood the Hilton, the conference flagship – us the wee stowaways creeping in all the way to registration, feeling the eyes of every Suit, Tie and Marketeer upon us. We would spend the majority of the afternoon wired on caffeine and anxiety, but ultimately, Thursday was the most potent experience we could have taken from Sound City.

The first doses of the day were the panel discussions: various industry professionals debating the pros and cons of the digital frontier, and how to prepare for the ever fluctuating future of the music industry. Each panel was moderated by a respected business figure to keep the conversation even, and we left with one good idea or another, for example: ‘once people get on to your [web] page, make it easy for them to navigate – they’ve already gone to the trouble of finding you, so reward them.’ Already AJ and I could sense the prevailing nature of Sound City as the Facebook representatives rounded off the first discussion with the advice – ‘you just need to spend more time on these platforms.’

Do You Follow?

We are already a generation of job-seekers raised on the premise of ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’, so we naturally jotted down names of VIPs – mostly so we could pounce on them like steam-powered cougars as soon as they were out in the open of the lobby. I won’t bother going into too much detail over the panels, you kinda had to be there… besides, we’ll be compiling a list of People to Pester for the meetings, so get your little black books ready.


Now, the tip of the spear: meeting Spotify. In what appeared to be an ‘industry speed-dating’ arrangement, we snuck into a room full of round tables peppered with representatives from various companies, notably for us, Spotify’s Artist Services rep Bryan Johnson. You were given an allotted time on each table with the company rep before an unsettlingly loud whistling sliced through the atmosphere and put your pitch to rest. You then had to chaaaange placeeeeees Wonderland style and start again with the next professional who looked just as bewildered as you. I over-exaggerate of course – we ended up having a lovely chat with a group of young producers/artists (while wholly ignoring the whistle), I think it was just the third-coffee-of-the-day effect.

Plonking ourselves down opposite Bryan, I shot a silent ‘OH S*@#!’ glance to AJ who nodded wide-eyed in agreement. This was our chance to get Spotify on board for Flux, and we had to get it right. Perhaps then what felt so wrong about the ensuing conversation was the very nature of this you-have-10-minutes-now-tell-me-what-you-want setup. I say wrong, we didn’t insult his mother or anything like that, but our excitement translated into a puppy-eyed pitch that ended with Bryan giving us his card probably just to be polite. This may sound like a colossal whoopsy, but it was actually the best thing that could’ve happened. Let me explain what Friday felt like in comparison.

Friday, 12:00pm, Striding Into The Hilton

Ahh, sweet rest. A good kip and a slowly brewed cuppa does wonders for the young soul. Yesterday was a bit intense, but the evening reminded us of the one unifying aspect of this conference: love of music. I believe it’s what made Friday’s networking so much more organic. Incidentally, the blog post for the music review will be linked right here as soon as it’s ready. Charlotte and Alex had already given us the following advice earlier that week, but it took a ‘go-and-see’ experience for the lesson to sink in:

Relax, They’re Just People

Creative people! Like Switchopen’s Nick Rhodes; an incredibly gifted, dedicated artist who teaches young people all across the globe – boom! We saw him and Bobby Evans in an inspirational panel exhibit on the relationship between music and artwork, hosted by BBC 2’s Janice Long (who was a fantastic host, and looked brilliant in bright orange trainers). AJ and I swam into the pool of speakers and press, warmly complimenting Nick on his work. With AJ in conversation with Bobby, Nick and I continued our conversation en route to the next panel – and his attention soon turned to Flux. ‘This sounds brilliant, when is it?’, ‘Have you got a website/card?’ etc. This was our revelation.

When we approach people about Flux Liverpool, it shouldn’t be a sales pitch – it’s a relationship-building opportunity. That sounds just as corporate, I know, but if your conversation isn’t organic, the fruit of your labour will be stale. Think of how many people they must meet, or receive emails from on a daily basis – what have you got that’s different?


Here’s Where It All Goes A Bit ‘Matrix’

And I must apologize in advance for putting on my Morpheus specs here but- the nature of the discussions at these panels/talks is the digital world and how a creative industry can stay on top of it. If there’s only one disadvantage to being a young person at the brink of the social media revolution, it’s that we’re too reliant on our-(wait for it), our Residual Self-Image.

‘It is the mental projection of your digital self’

By that I mean it’s easier to get someone to like, follow, comment on, or share your digital accomplishments than it is to engage with someone in the flesh on a professional level. Maybe that’s just my short-sightedness, but I felt a significant change for the better in the way a potential BigName turned into a potential Collaborator once we’d broken down the barriers together. These are things we need to be considering for Flux; advising our young people on how to collaborate with older members of the industry, how to turn their hobby into their business, and how to deal with the realities of a creative career.

And then oh my days and stars-! John Cale in the flesh! 20 minutes in the Drella Room?! Forget it. Forget everything I just said, my knees just collapsed. As one of The Velvet Underground’s founding members, John Cale was the conference key-note speaker. He was a natural conversationalist, and he glowed in the presence of hundreds of staring eyes and cameras. His stories from the 60s and 70s, including a brief mention of working with Nick Drake, left the whole crowd moved. We left the Hilton shortly after feeling a great sense of self-esteem… and the feel of a fistful of business cards- mwahahaa-


And We Say Thank You For The Music

I hope you’ve enjoyed the read, and I hope I’ve spoken enough for the great work AJ did on her own, but this weekend was definitely a team effort. We’ve still got a lot to do yet, but in the last few meetings we’ve really started to get on it! Flux Liverpool isn’t Sound City; it’s not Glastonbury, Leeds, Creamfields, or anything that comes with a six minute commercial for insurance or shaving cream. Flux Liverpool is a platform, and we have to be the leg-up for the new wave of young creatives.

Let’s find our feet this year first though, eh?

–          J. Crawford

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FLUX App Development Day 1 (12/04/2014)

This blog’s late, very late. But, better late than never!

FACT_LiverpoolThis was an exciting day, the first time we could start talking about our app! A splinter group of us met up at FACT in the early hours of Saturday morning (by early hours, I mean 9am). We headed straight for the top floor and were immediately presented with our developers, the excellent Chris (of i-DAT) and Gavin (of Elixel).

The pair gave us a presentation about where they each had come from and how they were going to get to work on the app. Chris talked about i-DAT (with a bit of help from Richard Ayoade), i-DAT is a Plymouth based lab for ‘playful experimentation with data’ and has an open platform for apps named ‘Qualia’ which aims to shake up how arts events are evaluated, you can find out more about that here. Gavin went on to talk about Elixel. Also based in Plymouth, Elixel is a digital creative agency known for their work on mobile apps, responsive websites and branding.

After this, we began to brainstorm ideas for what we wanted to see in the app and the general functionality that we believed it should have. We got our heads down and before we knew it… It was time for lunch.

After an… interesting… lunch, discussing the Albert Dock’s resident jellyfish (no one would believe me, I had to prove it was true)… among other things, we reconvened into separate groups and focused upon coming up with ideas for the specific areas of the app.

After this, we came back together and presented our ideas back to the whole group. This included some exciting features of the app including the ‘FLUXBux‘ points system as well as the 500 strong missions roster which might see people taking a selfie with someone in a morphsuit, sparking up a song in the Liverpool Philharmonic or anything else!

The app has a lot of potential to be really exciting and I’m sure a lot of the features will be something everyone will want to check out! — Sadly, I couldn’t make it to the second day of the weekend, but you can catch up on what happened there in Chloe’s blog of Day 2!


BldKw-rCEAAjuiVP.S Thanks for the
handy phone stand,

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FLUX App Development Weekend Day 2 13/04/2014

Day 2 of the app development weekend we were introduced to our second honorary member for the weekend, Zanzi. Holly and I found this a perfect opportunity to present FLUX to the two newcomers (Zanzi and Tor). We talked about our ideas behind the festival and the importance of the app. This was followed by some very eager questions which, personally, I found very good practice since from now on we will be bombarded with them!

Next, we had a re-cap of the previous ideas we had on the Saturday, these ranged from the informative elements of the app to the interactive features. Gavin and Chris helped us gain a realistic perspective on some of the ideas we had, such as rewarding our app users. We found that it may be difficult (and very expensive) to source rewards for them and maybe we needed to simplify the system.


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Back to work, and we started some new activities which were built on our pre-existing ideas. First, we reminded ourselves of our goals for the app, discussing how what we wanted to get out of building an app and also how the users would benefit. We then looked at Missions- a part of the app we wanted to make fun and easy for the users to get involved.

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We then looked at the physical and interactive side of the app. Here we discussed the possible installation we could have in the festival which could link to the app. We even considered the hub as an installation itself to interact with app users and festival goers.


Last but not least, the FLUX app components! Basically, an outline of the content that needs to be on the app in order for it to be successful.


So that’s the end of the FLUX App Development Weekend. An overall exciting experience which has really opened our eyes and has shown how much development and planning is needed to create this part of the festival. Many thanks to Chris and Gavin for your time and effort, and also Tor and Zanzi for feeding in some great ideas! Chris and Gavin will be frequently feeding back their progression with the app in the lead up to the festival, how exciting!

Chloe Nezianya

  #youtharts #festivals #Liverpool #arts #creativeindustries #FLUXLiverpool #apps



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The ‘Matrix’ meeting @ The Bluecoat

ImageUnfortunately Neo, Morpheus and Trinity couldn’t make it to the Matrix Meeting. But more fool them. They missed out on some great creative fusion and a good old natter about FLUX Liverpool!

In all seriousness though, the ‘Matrix’ meeting was set up as an opportunity for members of both the COoL and LARC organisations to come together, meet us and discuss information surrounding FLUX Liverpool.

Our job as ambassadors/producers was to individually speak to each organization and verify dates of their already existing events that would subsequently coincide/become part of FLUX. This involved asking them if they had any questions, concerns or comments regarding the programme as a whole. Joe was given the job of being the master speaker for informing the organisations of the commissions that we have come up with (Flux TV, Flux Liverpool closing party, Flux Merchandise design and Making etc). These went down superbly and each organisation expressed their enthusiasm towards them. We wanted to keep them all in the loop regarding the development of the programme and Open Culture were on hand to inform them on where we were in terms of Marketing the event. They had some particularly Juicy info regarding the Digital Launch!

Representatives from the following Organisations attended:

LARC Organisations: FACT (Foundation of Art and Creative Technology); Liverpool Biennial; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic; Tate Liverpool; The Bluecoat; DaDaFest; National Museum of Liverpool.

COoL Organisations: 20 Stories High; Metal; Hope Street Limited; BrazUKa; Writing on the Wall; Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival.


In order to gain further information and understanding we dispersed postcards to each representative to fill out. They were asked a number of questions that were designed as a point of reference for the future development of FLUX. Here are some of their responses!

Organisation What are your ambitions with FLUX Liverpool? What would you like to learn from FLUX? What would you like to see happen at FLUX 2016?
BrazUKa To support and help deliver a varied cultural programme including our young people and others. Bringing professionals as inspiration as well. Signpost x.p, as Ambassadors, develop something in relation to BR Olympics, More activities etc.
Metal  It would be great to connect with emerging artists and for new collaborations to happen Best practices in engaging young people Young people from all over the UK coming here and seeing all the amazing talent!
FACT To deliver a fantastic film festival and have every event full I hope to learn how we can work better outside of our building and independent of our exhibition. For our exhibition to be by and for young people at FACT during FLUX
Writing on the Wall  To promote spoken word art New ways of working by young promoters To showcase a new generation of spoken word artists
Hope Street Limited Raised awareness of Hope street limited: new audiences More about how to recruit young people Longer programme if not a 3 week festival
20 Stories High Diverse range of young people to be engaged: perform, share, debate, discuss, grow and shine. – for 20 stories high to support this in a variety of ways. Get a taste of how it works and how young people engage. More about what young people want as part of FLUX. What really excites them. What makes this special. New creative ways of programming and creating a artistic lively young arts-based festival To be involved further in strategic planning/vision from early on as a company (including our young people). Look at whether July is the right time/create one massive celebration/event that bring everyone together – flagship event for the city focused on young people performing.

It was thrilling to hear the organizations being passionate about what they do and also how excited they all are about FLUX. There is no doubt that they’re all individually going to bring something truly inspiring to the programme.

The next stop is the App Development weekend @ FACT! Feedback coming soon!

For more Information on LARC – http://www.larc.uk.com/
For more Information on COoL – http://www.hope-street.org/cool.htm

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