The moon has really outdone itself this year. It blazed into 2018 with the celestial anomaly of a ‘super blood moon’ in January and followed it with a ‘blood moon’ encore in July, giving us the longest lunar eclipse of the twenty-first century. We get it, moon – you’re a synodic marvel.
One Londoner was so taken with the moon’s achievements she decided it deserved its own festival. Last year, Livia Filotico quit her job in marketing and communications to dedicate herself full-time to an ambitious lunar mission. She wants to launch the first ever Moon Festival in London in July 2019, and just set up a Kickstarter to help gather the early funds to make it happen.
Filotico and her team are aiming to hold the lunar fest in General Gordon Square in Woolwich, to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the 1969 moon landing (or Stanley Kubrick film shoot – depending on your relationship with conspiracy theories).
‘The last few years have been tough for London, whatever you stand for,’ says Filotico, ‘and the next ten months won’t be much easier… Today, more than ever, we need something that excites us, unites us and makes us put our differences aside. I believe the moon can do that.’
It’s early days, but there are already some intriguing events lined up. If all goes to plan, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ author Margaret Atwood will deliver a keynote address about how ‘maverick women used the moon to impact society’ – a talk for which Kickstarter backers will be offered two tickets if they pledge £70 or more. Founder of Attica Blues, Blacktronica and Run Dem Crew Charlie Dark has signed up to host a large-scale club night and poet Inua Ellams will be leading a storytelling ‘moon walk’ around the borough. There are also plans for a lunar garden that only comes to life at night, tarot readings, talisman-making and moon art on the pavements. The main performance will see all the lights in the square switched off as an audience of 3,000 people quietly listen to a story about the moon.
First, though, the organisers need to raise the dough. The team are working to generate sponsorship, and they’re after £11,500 to fund a team and pay the artists involved (the full cost of keeping the team going for four months is actually £24,000). It might sound like lunacy, but then, that’s kind of the point.
Find out more about the Moon Festival crowdfunder here.
Can’t wait till 2019 to do some moongazing? Pay the Royal Observatory a visit.