How we took our creative programme online overnight
When the UK went into lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on 23 March 2020, our usual venues became 'off limits' over night.
In true Revoluton style, we seized the opportunity to embrace digital with gusto.
[Lockdown April - July 2020]
Luton was badly hit by Covid-19, with a high number of cases and deaths throughout the summer. During the late summer it became one of the UK Government’s ‘Areas of Intervention’ meaning that it had special measures to combat Covid-19. At Revoluton Arts we had to rethink our approach to the activities that had previously taken place in physical locations.
Where some organisations were forced to reduce or even halt arts programmes completely, we reimagined our work instead, to produce ‘Digital Revoluton’.
Highlights of our Digital Revoluton!
Feel the energy and vibe of the unstoppable Revoluton Arts programme!
Despite the many obstacles lockdown presented, we were able to take our arts programme online almost overnight. This was in large part due to the comprehensive digital training we had provided young people over the previous 2 years.
With a pool of skills and platforms such as Zoom, Facebook Live and EventBrite at our disposal, we quickly mobilised a young team of digital experts and revised our programme.
Highlights for the 13 April - 29 June 2020 period included:
What we did
- delivered 96 hours of digital activity events and platformed 817.5 hours of new digital work over 12 weeks.
125 new newsletter signups
443 new Facebook followers, 69% of which registered during the digital programme.
Zoom audience: 1214
Facebook live shows had a reach of 25,284 and 9060 engagements whilst live. A further 5398 engagements after the live event, creating a total of 14,458 Facebook engagements.
Total online reach 180,000 (across website and all our social media channels)
30.1K minutes viewed of our digital programme on FB - equating to 62.5 8hr days
Employment opportunities created
- Created 3 new roles within our team to support delivery of our digital programme
- Commissioned 88 artists, of which 48 were from Luton
- Employed 2 Zoom hosts for 444.5 hours
- Worked with Luton charity Level Trust to send 'creativity packs' to financially disadvantaged families in Luton.
- Worked Luton charity CHUMS to send free ukuleles to young carers.
- Marsh Farm Outreach, who took over the Friday evening Digital Revoluton slot for Live Lounge Lockdown events. They adapted their HQ for livestreamed events and socially distanced performances.
Our historical approach to community work and our existing strong partnerships meant we could easily draw on their existing network to activate the Digital Revoluton. This allowed the digital programme to represent Luton across its diverse communities and broad interest areas, as well as reach new audiences and create opportunities for event facilitators and creatives.
Digital Revoluton kept people across Luton and beyond feeling connected and creative, and allowed us at Revoluton Arts to explore new ways to support communities and local organisations.
Our new Virtual Events Management Service is community-based, “100% feel-good'', and made possible by the Young Digital Associates who were vital to the success of the Digital Programme.
“Digital Revoluton has been fantastic…. It's really expanded the possibilities of what I can do as an artist and given me new ideas that I can explore so I can tell my story, innovate and help others online. I'm excited to see where it goes from here.”
- Lavz, Young Digital Associate
We recognised the need to do more than produce and create, to do more than simply transmit; our investment in young people meant that we already had the skills and talent to quickly adapt and take our events programme online, resulting in our strong Legacy for this period.
Our Revoluton Arts team and other community organisations across Luton rose to the challenges presented by the pandemic; Jenny Williams, Revoluton Arts Programme Director, said:
“Putting on such an ambitious programme during lockdown was no easy task, but it’s had an outstanding response from viewers in Luton and beyond. Thank you to everybody that's been involved in putting it together and everybody at home who joined us for all our workshops and online events, especially in these circumstances. Your support has been fantastic.”
Want to find out more?
Read our project summary and download the impact report.
Need help delivering online events and activities?
Find out about our Virtual Events Services — we can help take the hassle out of online meetings, conferences, events, festivals and more.