A friend of mine who's an author, Ashley Sant, asked me if I wanted to collaborate with her on launching a festival that's going to be an October convergence of vampires, werekin (werewolves, weredeer, weredragons, you get it, part-human/part-animal beings), fairies, and witches in the Chicago area. These magical supernaturals come from all corners of the known world and some come from dimensions that we've never even heard of! There will be Victorian insect-people, medieval warlocks, art deco elves, and some glamorous undead who just can't seem to let go of their 18th century finery (hey, everyone can be sentimental sometimes). These spooks originate from a full spectrum of time periods so why should they hide it?
Here are the essentials:
Outside. Costumes. Vendors and artisans selling amazing gear, products, and original works. Food. Performances. Contests. Characters interacting with guests. Different factions of freaky entities mingling with each other. Fun for the whole family. An interesting place to take friends, boyfriends, girlfriends. Or go solo and soak it all in. All ages. Autumnal fantasy, not horror.
The truth of the matter is that I love Ashley Sant's concepts. She's a great storyteller with a great creative mind, and a wonderful person, so I'm happy to be included in the process of building this faire.
I'll be one of the people, in our small team of just a few, who will be tossing ideas into the ring and bringing them to fruition. I'll be a part of the backstage process, working with actors and performers, presenting additional plans and pieces, and doing my best to help jolt Icari Hollow to life.
Yes, the name of Ms. Sant's festival is Icari Hollow. "Hollow" rubs beautifully with "Halloween" and it's a nod to haunt-ridden, classic places like Sleepy Hollow. "Icari" is a word relating to the universe of her characters, serving as a reference to the legend of Icarus. Icari are what the legion of animal-people are called. The werecats, werebirds, werelizards, etc. are the Icari and, according to Sant's narrative, they're the ones running the festival, inviting humans to celebrate the season alongside the supernaturals. Pre-written dramas will ensue, spectacles will take place, delicious food will be eaten, costumes will be worn, and goods will be exchanging hands. I'm 100% for it.
Ashley and I created a couple of videos to present a sort of visual and tonal taste of what the Icari Festival is about and to give a sample of what kinds of characters guests will be encountering.
A short film, called "October Sketches", is inspired by Ashley's concept. The film toys with the idea of creativity/fantasy/phantoms of the collective imagination--the vampires, witches, fairies, and werebeasts lurking in all of our heads. "October Sketches" is a series of drawings (and a loose narrative) via film as much as marker on paper. Sketching can be done in all kinds of ways, whether it's poetry, songwriting, or--yes--filmmaking. The "October Sketches" short film, which is right HERE, was created to present visual samples and for the sake of B-role for another video.
This other video, "Icari Hollow: an idea", is a quick explanation of what Ashley aims to do with her festival concept. The "Icari Hollow: an idea" video is HERE
Spooky, enchanting, and intriguing: Yes
Terror and splattering brains: No
Could things get a bit.....unnerving? Chilling? Thrilling? Definitely!
But, no, there won't be any chainsaws and dripping viscera. Ashley and I do love that kind of stuff when it comes to slasher films and other people's Halloween events........but gore is off the menu at Icari Hollow. We'll be keeping our shows family-friendly in general and we don't want to give your uncle a heart attack.
Ashley's slogan, that she whipped up the other day, for the festival is:
"Let Us Enchant You...."
Sounds good to me.
Everyone can dive into the world of Icari Hollow. It's for faire goers, event attendees, adults, kids, moms, dads, teens, grandmas, grandpas, punks, goths, artists, autumn fanatics, anyone who's ever said "Halloween is my favorite day of the year!", serious cosplayers, casual cosplayers, non-cosplayers who'd rather look around in amazement while disappearing into the crowd (disclosure: that's me, so I understand), theater fans, mythology readers, creators, consumers, shoppers, foodies, and anyone with a craving for the extraordinary. Personally, I'm very much looking forward to Icari Hollow and I have a feeling that plenty of other people will be anxiously waiting along with me.....
The goal is to make the Icari Hollow Festival happen for October 2017.
I'll keep you updated as things progress.
The official blog/website for Icari Hollow is HERE