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Flying Moon Music and Arts Festival: Nicole Stapinski Guest blog

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The small and mighty Flying Moon Music and Arts Festival returns in June for its second year. We invited its founder, Nicole Stapinski, to tell us how it came about. Thanks Nicole!

HOW I LEFT HOME, GOT SCARED, AND ACCIDENTALLY STARTED A MUSIC FESTIVAL

Six years ago I almost gave up, packed up, and went back home to New Jersey. I’d come to Glasgow to study a masters degree in History of Art, stupidly stayed, and almost landed myself into some serious debt in the process. A kind relative was prepared to pay for my entire plane journey home because I couldn’t even afford that.

That’s when I got a job in a slightly sweaty cafe, and the real journey through my harrowing 20s began. I stayed in Scotland. Obviously. I’d come for the art, but stayed for the music — and that’ll be my mantra until the sky turns red and the sun explodes.

Flying Moon Music & Arts Festival happened for three reasons. The first? I was tired of being kicked back from jobs in the industry that I KNEW I could handle. I’d had five years worth of admin and stage management skills in America that suddenly meant NOTHING to anyone in Scotland. Second? I was tired of being seen as a pushover in an industry narrowly dominated by gatekeepers and moguls. And finally, when a favourite feminist haunt I used to frequent closed up shop in 2016…there was suddenly a big ol’ lady-shaped hole in the atmosphere and in my heart that I knew it was time to mend. Somehow. Even if I looked absolutely ridiculous doing it.

I wanted to help young women make it in the music industry. To give them the leg up I never had.

Flying Moon, I should add, wasn’t initially about femme-focused festival lineups at all. It was something that happened because that’s how the programming and instincts just moved naturally. It started, really… as an affordable festival. A joint effort between my tiny non-profit promotions company Moonstruck On Clydeside, my bandmates and closest friends Flying Penguins, and Glasgow’s own city centre venue The Flying Duck.

Moonstruck. Moons. Flying aquatic animals. Flying Moon… You getting me? The origin of the word ‘Moonstruck’ is a secret I’ll keep close for now. I was walking over Bell’s Bridge on the Clyde one cold March evening in 2017 when the inspiration struck. But what happened in the months following 2018’s festival launch day last year? I’m not sure I either planned or imagined.

Small but mighty, and returning for its second year, Flying Moon Festival is all about art, access and action. It exists to support Scotland’s women in front-lining the festivals they deserve, from headliner to stall holder. Founded on and upholding the following independent ethos:

“We are an affordable summer festival dedicated to crafting our best rosters, listening to our audience, and presenting an inclusive atmosphere that neither discriminates against gender nor genre. Flying Moon proves that festivals don’t have to be an intimidating experience for performers and punters alike.”

On 1st of May, Moonstruck On Clydeside launched an ‘Affordable Festival’ scheme alongside our crowdfunder campaign, which offers low earners a chance to attend a festival experience on the cheap. You can read more about and support this campaign by clicking here.

This summer, Flying Moon Festival is proud to bring Scotland a femme-focused lineup with 50:50 gender balance — by default adhering to the Keychange campaign launched by the PRS Foundation and Creative Europe in 2017 — and comprising of 15 acts across two stages:

TAMZENE (Inverness / Leeds) CARLA J. EASTON (Glasgow)  HEIR OF THE CURSED (Glasgow) SCARLETT RANDLE (Glasgow) HALF FORMED THINGS (Edinburgh)  BRATAKUS (Glasgow / Highlands) AMY MONTGOMERY (Ireland) SUPER INUIT (Edinburgh) WYLDE (Edinburgh) LEYLA JOSEPHINE (Glasgow) IMOGEN STIRLING (Glasgow) AMELIA BAYLER (Glasgow) GRAVELLE (Livingston / Glasgow) ROSIE BANS (Glasgow) LEMON DRINK (Glasgow)

This year also highlights the return of the festival’s wide range of vegan, slow fashion, ethical and environmentally friendly craft stalls, including:

ZERO WASTE SPACE (natural, sustainable living & packaging)  REBEL RADICAL DIY (upcycled clothing, bags & custom patches) LOW DOWN AND DANDY (handmade jewellery & accessories for the gothically inclined) SKY ART PHOTOGRAPHY (fine art & landscape photography) MYSTIK HEART (mythical arts & crafts)  CARMINENCOBALT (water colour, canvas & handmade books) SCOTTISH WOMEN INVENTING MUSIC (registration & support for music makers identifying as female) MORAG & MYRTLE (jewellery from recycled fabric) AKI SMITH ART (cut paper artist & jeweller)  LOTIONS N’ POTIONS BY LESLEY BARR (herbal oils & salves), and more…

FLYING MOON FESTIVAL 2019 is an all-day, indoor celebration of music, arts, crafts, poetry and performance — taking place on SATURDAY 15TH JUNE from 3PM until late. The event is presented by non-profit promoter Moonstruck On Clydeside, with support from Glasgow vegan venue The Flying Duck (host), community-led initiative Music Broth (Scotland’s 1st Musical Instrument Library), and newly registered creative charity Scottish Women Inventing Music (SWIM).

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

Standard Sale :: £7

Online Ticketing :: https://fixr.co/event/723931651

CAN’T MAKE THE FESTIVAL?

On 11th May 2019, we’re running our annual Secret Garden Gig fundraiser! Featuring another 9-act lineup with a vast array of talented women from across the country. Come along and join us at Glasgow’s best kept secret wee garden venue!** Any and all of your donations on the day will help us fund venue and backline hire for Flying Moon Festival this June.

£3 / £5 SUGGESTED DONATION | 3PM DOORS

**The location of this event will be announced at 5PM on the evening before its kickoff.