My Inspiration: Twinge Fest | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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North Yorkshire comedian, Matt Hoss (Eric Barker Award Winner 2015; host of 5-star podcast Castival) launches the very first TWINGE Fest, which will take place online between 12th-28th August 2021 on Twitch. It features huge performers including: Bethany Black, Tony Law, Glenn Moore, Alexis Strum, WeeClaire, Adele Cliff, and many more…

Viewers can watch online for free, however, donations are  welcomed and can be made to the artists directly or paid into the TWINGE pot, which will be distributed equally when the festival closes. Also, 20% of all donations will go to MIND, the Mental Health Charity: a cause close to Matt Hoss’ heart. 

Here, Matt talks about what inspired the festival…

My name is Matt Hoss and between 12-28th August 2021, my bespoke online festival will be running on Twitch. It will feature famous comedians, highly-creative performers and up-and-coming stars. It’s a revolutionary concept with a vibrant & giving community. Welcome to the Twinge Festival, and here is my inspiration behind creating and curating it.

Last year was a tough year for performers, and this year continued that harsh trajectory . During that hard time, many performers (and audience members) flocked to twitch as an outlet. I started Twitch to fill a gap in my furloughed diary, but it ended up being a massive hit for me. I finally found a format which suited me really well, and for many different reasons.

One of the reasons, simply, was community. Twitch and Discord really put an emphasis on building your community and creating great ties with other streamers. It’s about caring for others and about giving (on and off-air). I’ve made friends from across the globe in the last year who I’d trust within a heartbeat. These are people who I have been talking to and supporting for the last 18 months. Watching streamers is great to hang out and show my love to my friends.

Because of my love for these people and the communities of Twitch , I was influenced to create Twinge (the twitch fringe festival. It was meant to celebrate everything we have gone through in the funniest way possible. The emphasis on community is at the heart of the festival as it’s free to watch, It’s accessible and it’s online. Though we do accept donations (which 80% goes to the streamers, and 20% to the Mind Charity). How cool is that?

Twinge Festival is different from most festivals, as the streamer concludes their stream and brings their audience to the next show on the list. There are zero clashes at any given time. By raiding from one stream to the next, theoretically, someone could sit in one person’s stream and end up in many others throughout the day. The Twinge fest runs from 10am-1am every day, with 3-hour slots per performer (from 12th-28th August). We want to encourage new people to come and join us. If you haven’t tried twitch yet, why don’t you check out some of the headliner comedians on Twinge, like Bethany Black, Tony Law and Glenn Moore?

This isn’t just a comedy festival, though, Twinge offers a wide selection of diverse, interesting and innovative streams. There is the wild character comedy (@BiteMyThumb), 90’s VHS archiving (@WhatsOnTheTapes), plus live art drawings (@Leedyart, @Flosssie and more). There is even a Twinge-themed quiz run by @PandaGrenade87. It’s meant to feel like a real festival, with variety, strangeness and plenty of highlights. There is so much to choose from.

My other reason to create the Twinge festival was to help support the artists, as it has been a financially awful time for us all. We don’t charge the acts whatsoever, unlike every other festival. Twinge Festival is meant to be a genuine, cost-effective alternative against the astronomical and gouging prices offered by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe which runs at the same time.

Why should performers have to spend thousands of pounds to reach an audience who we can reach from our homes? Twinge is set up on the principle that performers aren’t customers. This is meant to be an accessible, affordable, and entertaining festival and if it works out, it could be a permanent alternative to losing £10k every year. I still love Edinburgh Fringe and acts can certainly choose to do both, but we just want to build a viable, realistic alternative for the future. Twinge wants to place the artist first and show them that it doesn’t have to be a financial nightmare.

But at the heart of it, I think Twinge is meant to be a creative space to promote each other as a community to highlight the amazing things we’ve accomplished in lockdown. Also, not just the artists: the mods, the subscribers, the lurkers and the audience members. The aim is to give everyone a summer to remember.

I love each and every performer I have handpicked for Twinge. I heartily would recommend them and I for one am very excited for Twinge to start. It means a lot to me and I love it so much.  

Twinge fest takes place all on Twitch. 10am-1am everyday.

Brochure available here

…And here.

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