We caught up with Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events for VisitScotland, to discuss their decision to grant NEoN some funding this year through EventScotland’s National Funding Programme. The money has been allocated for digital marketing, an essential part of delivering our digital arts festival.
Ana Hine: Hello Paul. First of all, thank you for speaking to us. Can you briefly explain why NEoN been allocated funding from yourselves this year?
Paul Bush OBE: NEoN Digital Arts Festival is a fantastic celebration of both Scottish and international digital art, and EventScotland is delighted to be involved once again. This is momentous year for the Festival, celebrating its 10th anniversary, as well as for Dundee and the North East, so it was important for us to support NEoN in promoting its position as one of the UK’s leading festivals for digital arts.
Ana Hine: How have you felt about the other NEoN festivals you’ve supported?
Paul Bush OBE: The NEoN Digital Arts Festival has been a wonderful addition to our portfolio of events, strongly aligning with the image and identity of both Dundee and Scotland as a leading centre of design and creativity.
Receiving funding through our National Events Programme, which supports events outside of Glasgow and Edinburgh that are the backbone of our events industry, it is great to see how NEoN has grown since its inception 10 years ago. EventScotland is proud to have played a part in that growth by first awarding it funding in 2010 to expand the Festival offer, helping turn it into the event it is today.
Ana Hine: What are your hopes for this year and what you’re looking forward to about the festival?
Paul Bush OBE: Once again NEoN has developed an exciting programme of free-to-attend events including exhibitions, symposia, screenings, installations and workshops. I’m particularly delighted to see you align the theme of this year’s Festival, Lifespans, with the celebrations for Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 through our Partner Programme. I look forward to seeing the digital art projects that seek to address the intergenerational gaps between young and old and explore the idea of millennials as digital natives.
Ana Hine: Could you tell us about any similar organisations that you fund?
Paul Bush OBE: We have an incredible array of culture events in our portfolio, from large-scale arts festivals such as Glasgow International, to regional events like the Dundee Design Festival. Events like these play an integral role in positioning Scotland as the perfect stage for events, celebrating our culture and reputation for innovation, whilst delivering real benefits both economically and socially for the local area and the country as a whole.
Ana Hine: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I hope you’ll be able to make it down to the festival itself this November!