We were treated to a briefing on the program for the 2006 Adelaide Festival of Arts this morning. Just arts writers and critics from our paper. The official program launch is in a couple of weeks and the Festival wants to keep the program secret. Why tell us if they want to keep it secret? Well, they reveal all with an embargo, thus compelling us to silence. It is the best way to shut up the media, the old embargo. In fact, the best way to keep things out of the news is to tell all off the record. We are hamstrung.
Unfortunately for the Festival, there have been leaks. We already knew a number of the program features - and we had printed them in the paper this morning before the briefing because we knew that we could not print them after the briefing since we would be under the vow of silence. The Festival was livid. But that's showbizz - and the cat and mouse game we play.
That said, the briefing revealed all sorts of things we did not know and, putting it all together, we departed thoroughly thrilled and excited about what is in store for the city of Adelaide next year. It is not for nothing that we are called the Festival City. Our international arts festivals are stunning - not just because of the programming, but because the size and layout, as well as the spirit of the city, makes them superbly accessible. The city is transformed and the spirit of the festival reigns supreme.
However, for those of us for whom it also is work, it is a stamina and endurance challenge of gargantuan proportions.