Filed under: Festival, Music, News, NHM | Tags: 2013, 360 State Street, Ideat Village, New Haven, New Haven Music, NHM, Rock Lottery
Following weeks of speculation online as to the fate of New Haven’s annual Ideat Village summer arts festival, it was recently revealed, to much disappointment, that there will indeed be no eleventh installment. “We weren’t kidding when we called last year’s Ideat Village ‘The End,’ said Ideat Village co-organizer Nancy Shea in a brief response posted last week to the festival’s Facebook page.
In some ways, news of Ideat Village’s demise can hardly be seen as surprising given the festival’s ongoing troubles with 360 State Street and the City of New Haven. In 2011 a protracted dispute with 360 State Street over the usage of adjacent Pitkin Plaza for amplified music, a space used for years by Ideat Village before 360 State Street even existed, nearly ended the festival. Last year’s seemingly imminent confrontation with the NHPD (again due to noise complaints from 360 State Street) and the consequent arrest of festival co-organizer Bill Saunders seemed to seal the deal. According to Shea though, Ideat Village 10 was planned to be the last regardless of any issues with the city. “Bill and I felt it had pretty much run its course… but that’s another story.”
Regardless of the reasons why, Ideat Village’s absence this summer will still loom large over the local arts community, a community which had grown to depend on the all-inclusive, volunteer run festival as a means to present their work to a wider public audience. Originally developed as a local alternative to the much larger and well-funded International Festival of Arts & Ideas, Ideat Village began to take on an identity of its own through the years, mainly through the perseverance of its organizers and the creative array of events it offered. Programming such as the Gorilla-Ideat Film Festival, which assembled a team of filmmakers and actors to create a movie in less than 48 hours, as well as the Rock Lottery, which assembled a band to write and perform a set of songs in less than two weeks, were just two of the festival’s many popular inventions.
All is not lost though. According to Shea there is still a “huge interest” in the Rock Lottery event: “Jeffrey Thunders (The Lost Riots, The Black Noise Scam) and I are planning to reorganize it and bring it back, sort of under the Ideat Village umbrella, but it will stand on its own…” Thunders confirmed the rumors of a possible stand alone Rock Lottery later this summer: “We do not have a date for it but it will happen at some point this summer. Probably in July or August. But yes the rock lottery is going to happen at some point.” Shea added: “It’s encouraging to see that there is lots of interest! Suggestions welcome…”
Rock Lottery withstanding, it’s still going to be hard to think of Summer without the sometimes controversial, sometimes unpredictable, but always memorable Ideat Village festival.