How much will get the 7 Bulgarian fire formations for their participation in the upcoming 6fest Art Street Festival? It depends on the donations of Bulgarian spectators for the crowdfunding campaign specially launched by the organizer Momchil Tsonev. It’s the first case of application of crowdfunding to a large-scale cultural event in Bulgaria.

The festival is the brainchild of Momchil Tsonev who’s been organizing it from 2017. This year he’s asked for public support to co-finance the festival. The Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria has drastically reduced the initial budget according to which the artists of 6fest will get only 30 per cent of the initial sum. Momchil doesn’t want to exclude any group from the programme and asks people to co-finance the artists’ salaries.

With my small contribution, the mini-communication campaign #6festhotweek, I want to show the Bulgarian society the role of crowdfunding and storytelling for creating self-sufficient communities.

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The power of crowdfunding is twofold. For those who seek funding, it helps to bring projects to life. For those who donate, crowdfunding allows choosing the most worthwhile and socially useful projects. The systematic application of crowdfunding to different initiatives is as a tool for testing trends in communities. It’s a form of negotiation or vote. There are a lot of academic research and business cases about what’s right and wrong in crowdfunding.

The crowdfunding campaign by 6fest’s organizer Momchil Tsonev for support of the festival has very few features of ‘the right approaches’. There’s no clear marketing strategy and multichannel integrated communication. It’s usually developed by professional crowdfunding consultancies, as opposed to amateurs who try do it all themselves. 6fest campaign is rather more about social activism.

And it’s what I like about it most! Because social activism is another positive trend that empowers communities at times of crises and shows people new ways of solving old problems.

As a communications specialist with over 15 year-experience who favours realistic approaches, I never accept for 100 per cent the right ways or exclude the wrong ones. It’s because the truth is somewhere in between. I’ve learned a lot about crowdfunding and social activism during my recent retraining in Italy and England. And I believe that trials such enthusiasts as Tsonev can help to work out feasible instruments for solving social problems.

By testing and choosing creative projects with crowdfunding, Bulgarian society has good chances to learn and show others how to make communities in low-income countries more self-sufficient and less dependent on not very reliable governments.

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The power of storytelling is multidimensional. With my articles during #6festhotweek, I’m trying to understand what type of information should exchange the parties (the art groups, organizers and spectators) to bring the project to life. At the same time, I’m going to experiment a bit. With some art-groups, we will try different methods of storytelling in digital communication. I will be informing about the process in my future posts.

Why does it make sense to support Bulgarian independent artists? The fire art formations develop the Bulgarian traditions in the context of modern culture and support many social initiatives in their communities (e.g. a performance by Black Fire in the charity concert Hope for Dany). As part of this culture and citizen of this country, I want all of them to continue their activities.

Indeed, it makes sense to attempt to solve complex problems at least partially than not to do anything at all. The crowdfunding platform allows the organizers to get even partial funding as opposed to the majority websites that permit the organizers to collect money only when the whole sum is collected.

In my opinion, the 6fest crowdfunding campaign may succeed even with the support of the existent 2300+ followers of 6fest Facebook group. There’s 2700 euro is needed. So, if the 6fest Facebook enthusiasts donate 1-2 euro each, the fire art formation will get the full salary and not one third.

Let’s reconsider free shows in favour of Bulgarian traditions and useful social practices!

This post is part of #6festhotweek, an awareness-raising campaign and ethnographic study, which I launched in support of the 6fest fundraising campaign devoted to gathering funds for the salaries of the festival’s participants –  7 Bulgarian fire art-groups. I’ve donated some money and want you to do the same. It will help to support the people who shape the heritage in their country and make a difference to their communities More details are on my Facebook and in this post.