Meet the team behind Liverpool’s Flux Festival

FLUX festival team at Liverpool ONE; (back to front); Aaryn James and Owen Jones, Chloe Nezianya a

FLUX festival team at Liverpool ONE; (back to front); Aaryn James and Owen Jones, Chloe Nezianya and Suzy Vanezis, Jack Morgan and Amy Davies, Aimee Marnell and Holly Lewis - Credit: Archant

Liverpool’s creative community has come together to stage, Flux, a festival like no other. We chat to the young ambassadors to find out what exactly Flux

FLUX festival team at Liverpool ONE

FLUX festival team at Liverpool ONE - Credit: Archant

This month Liverpool will host a pioneering multi-arts festival, engineered by young people but created for everyone to enjoy. The festival has been developed and led by a team of 13 people aged between 14-25.

Since January, these young ambassadors have been busy working with some of the city’s best and brightest creative producers to make a show-stopping event.

An assortment of theatre and music performance, games, exhibitions, parades, workshops and panel discussions will take place in venues across the city, to showcase hidden talent and educate everyone on the benefits of creative collaboration at which age is no barrier.

‘This has never been done before. If you are really passionate about the arts and perhaps a career in the industry, this is the perfect opportunity to attend and learn more about it,’ said Amy Davies. The 21-year old young ambassador wanted to stress that it isn’t just for the young. ‘This is a multi-arts festival where people of all ages can find something they will enjoy. Flux is a catalyst for the arts for everyone.’

FLUX festival team at Liverpool ONE (L-R, standing); Holly Lewis, Aimee Marnell, Jack Morgan, Chlo

FLUX festival team at Liverpool ONE (L-R, standing); Holly Lewis, Aimee Marnell, Jack Morgan, Chloe Nezianya, Suzy Vanezis and Amy Davies with Aaryn James and Owen Jones (sitting) - Credit: Archant

‘It’s not just for people who are already involved in the arts,’ added fellow young ambassador Chloe Nezianye, 18. ‘We are trying to get across that although it is an arts festival, there are plenty of other aspects that can be enjoyed by non art-fanatics or those wanting a creative career.’

Over 60 events will take place from July 17 to August 2, unveiling the potential that is hidden inside Liverpool’s young people. So how exactly did these young ambassadors get involved in the project? ‘The directors of Flux sent around emails to art organisations and companies around the city,’ said Aimee Marnell, 18. ‘Both Chloe and I are members of the Unity Youth Theatre, and we learnt about Flux through them.’

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Holly Lewis, 17, also learnt about the festival through another of Liverpool’s prominent art venues: ‘I am on the email list for FACT, and I just saw it via that. The first meeting was really interesting as we got to meet everyone and were told more about what Flux was.’

For 21-year-old Jack Morgan, it was a challenge to stay as part of the festival: ‘I moved to Scotland at the start of the process, so it was complicated to organise my involvement and decide if I should still take part. However I was passionate about the festival so I made it work.’

The young ambassadors were told that they could be involved as much or as little as they wanted. ‘There are lots of different aspects so it all kind of fell into place and everyone knew what they wanted to do,’ said Jack Morgan. The 20-year old digital and content marketing assistant was involved last year in one of the components that is featured in the opening weekend of the festival.

The Young DaDaFest, a showcase of music, dance, and performance led by deaf young people and those with disabilities from across Merseyside, was a private event until it was picked up by Flux to be show at the at Everyman Theatre on July 17th. ‘It’s as big as it’s ever going to be now,’ said Jack. ‘We have schools involved this year, and even an after party. It is an excellent platform for young people with disabilities.’

Despite being busy with A-Levels, university and part-time jobs, the young ambassadors have been very much the glue piecing the parts of the festival together.

‘It is overwhelming,’ added Holly. ‘There are 65 events all together, so within them we also commissioned our own and helped put together others.’ Holly and Chloe worked together on booking venues and panels for the educational #FluxSkills events. These events will give people of all ages an insight into arts careers and a chance to connect and learn with industry professionals from all over the UK. ‘Topics include visual art and design, music, management and more,’ said Chloe. ‘It was quite daunting to begin with. We had to decide what five people we wanted on each panel and then find a contact for their agent to see if they were interested!’

Chloe is really looking forward to the #FluxSkills visual art and design event held at Tate Liverpool. She is looking to undertake a foundation year in art and design at Liverpool Community College, with hopes of going into a career in either fashion or fine art. ‘We managed to book Kirsty Doyle (Liverpool fashion designer and winner of Project Calkwalk] to be on the panel, which is amazing,’ said Chloe.

Amy agrees that the #FluxSkills will be a successful event: ‘TED talks are really popular, so this will be along the same lines. We are planning on filming them and doing a podcast for our Flux TV channel so people who can’t attend can still benefit from them.’

‘I believe we are lacking things like this is schools. We are told to strive but not told how to do it. There will be a Q&A at the end of our sessions, and hopefully it will motivate people as they can have their questions answered by a professional who’s already been there and done it.’

Aimee can’t wait for the silent disco, Unsigned Unheard. An idea successfully commissioned by fellow ambassador Joe Crawford, this will provide a free digital platform for musicians via a set-up at the Flux Hub in Liverpool ONE. ‘It’s great as the silent disco will give undiscovered Liverpool-based musicians a chance to be heard.’

The Hub will be the focal point for the duration of the festival. Designed to be an information point and wirelessly enabled with 4G, it is the most likely place to catch one of the Flux ambassadors for a chat. It will also be the home to Flux TV, an idea commissioned by 20 year old aspiring broadcast journalist Aaryn James, who is also hosting #FluxSkills Independent in the Arts event.

This YouTube channel will be a backstage pass to those watching the festival online with exclusive Q&A’s and full exposure on featured artists and events. ‘This is my passion,’ said Aaryn. ‘I want to have a career similar to Oprah Winfrey.’ The newly appointed Youth Social Action Ambassador for Youth Federation already has his own TV show on YouTube and will be visiting the Prime Minister, David Cameron later this month at 10 Downing Street to discuss his projects, including Flux.

‘This festival is like nothing I’ve ever worked on before. Flux gives the public a glimpse into the world of activities and opportunities our young people have created,’ said Alex McCorkindale, Flux Liverpool Director. ‘There doesn’t seem to be an end to this city’s potential and talent, this is just the beginning.’

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Our top four Flux events

John Moores Painting Prize Group Tours

July 17 – August 2, Walker Art Gallery

During this interactive tour, visitors will learn about artists and artworks featured in this year’s exhibition. It is also the favourite event of Flux ambassador Suzy Vanezis, 17, who has a passion for fine arts.

Shall we Dance

July 29, Camp and Furnace

Presented by1938 Palomars, this is an evening showcasing the most talented jazz artists of this decade, along with a live house band and performers. Why not dress up and take part in the 1930’s swing dance competition?

Day at the Dome

26 July, The Dome in Chavasse Park

The Dome will play host to some of the North West’s most talented, up-and-coming musical acts. From rock and roll to indie, soul and pop, there’s something for everyone.

Stories from the Sea

August 1-2, Unity Theatre

This performance explores 1950s family life, music, community, and how Liverpool was shaped by its port city heritage.