I met Donald Trump on Friday evening. Joking, it was Arts by the Sea’s 2019 sponsor from OneCor corporation. As he cut through the crowd at Friday’s launch with security following inches behind, it was clear the festival was about to change beyond recognition.
Everything from his crisp, mint suit to the gelled hair and almost manic smile suggested something was amiss. He addressed the “village” of “Bone-mouth” and laid out the festival’s future, much to the crowd’s disbelief.
Currently partnered with Bournemouth University, Bournemouth Council, and Yellow Buses, the festival’s new American sponsor will supposedly see lower crime rates and a better economy. The festival will also become the International Picture Conference (IPC), eliminating all interactive, live exhibitions throughout town. As part of the cost-cutting, commercialisation of the festival, the IPC is set to be primarily viewed through VR headsets at dinner parties throughout the country.
It seems unreal, doesn’t it?
No, really. It’s unreal.
None of this is true.
The introduction of OneCor was all part of this year’s theme: New Frontiers. In so many ways, the stunt hit the nail on the head as we enter the new political frontier of harsher austerity and rising right-wing politics. The obvious shout out to America’s (least) favourite president set the tone for the rebellious attitude in many of the exhibitions and acts this year.
From the crazy Red Stars who blasted out Bowie and showered us with bubble mix and confetti at the launch, to The Colour Project’s Silicon Shores, and the Band at the End of the World, this year’s festival is awash with loud colour and music in an outrageous protest to a bleak future.
Arts by the Sea 2018 proves New Frontiers do not have to mean barren, apocalyptic landscapes. They are something to celebrate in the most outlandish ways.
Be sure to keep an eye out for Nerve’s upcoming reviews and guides on this year’s Arts by the Sea!