New Year, New website, New ideas

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The New Year is always a good time of year for a reset and a rethink. It’s also when you start to anticipate the year ahead and setting out goals for what you want to achieve over the next 12 months.

Now in our 49th year, we’ve used this time to have a rethink about how we use this website going forward and if there’s anything that we can do to make it better. We know it needs standard stuff like festival information and archives from the past. It also needs the all-important details about how to book tickets. This is basic stuff, and the stuff that is most critical to the success of each festival.

We’ve also been thinking about if there’s anything we can do to make it a website that is visited throughout the whole year – not just around the period leading up to each festival. The simple conclusion was that we needed a bigger change – so what have we done, and what kinds of things do we plan to do in the future?

We’ve given the website a facelift

Bye-bye to the previous design. Hello new, modern, fresh look-and-feel.

All of the information held on the previous website has been moved over and given a new home so you can still see the results of past festivals. We know our visitors like seeing who won what in which year! You’ll also notice that information about the upcoming festival is more prominent and directly accessible from the front page – just click the big colourful picture.

The website also works on all devices, so it doesn’t matter if you use a laptop, desktop, tablet or mobile phone.

A brand-spanking new ‘News’ section

We’ve added a News section which gives us the opportunity to keep the website more up-to-date with the latest information.

You can interact too – by commenting or sharing our posts on social media. To comment you’ll need to register an account with us using your email address or favourite social media account.

We’d also like to encourage you to register for email updates direct to your inbox. You can do this by entering your email address in the ‘Want the latest news?’ section to the right. We won’t spam you and we won’t give your information to anyone else.

Be more social

Some techy-types out there say that social media has peaked – and they might be right. On the other hand we recognise that many of you still use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram (and much more), so we’re going to give our own social media a revamp. It’s also a great way of spreading the word about the festival to a wider audience.

You can help us kick this off by using the ‘Connect with us’ links to the right to ‘follow’ or ‘like’ us. We might even start doing videos at some point.

A focus on local drama groups who participate in the Festival

We’d love to provide more information about the groups that participate in our Festival.

Each year we are joined by loads of local talent who perform to our audiences, some win awards and then say goodbye for another year. That’s fine, but we’d love to do a bit more to increase the profile of the local stellar amateur dramatics scene. So how about we help each local group promote their own productions and what they’re getting up to throughout the year. After all; we’re all in this together, right?

We now have a new ‘Participants‘ section!

If you are responsible for a local drama group that has taken part in any of our festivals then we’d love to have your input. Please use the online form to tell us a bit more about your group so we can stick that information in this new section.

The participants section will serve as a great little directory of local groups and enable us to run features on each group throughout the year.

What does the future hold?

We not quite sure, but this this is just the beginning of a range of new initiatives that we’ll be introducing this year. Watch this space – or even better, sign up for regular updates (see the ‘Want the latest news?’ section to the right)!

You could even let us know what you think about all of this in the comments section below – we’d love to hear from you.

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