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LIGHT LEAVES EXPERIENCE, a free, online event hosted on Facebook by Leaves of Dreams from 7.30am Friday 28th August, continuously, until 9.00pm on Sunday 30th August is, officially, a SUCCESS!

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There was no money for this event – literally, the budget was £0.00.  We couldn’t even afford to print the posters in colour at the local library – that was £1 a copy. vs 10p a copy for black and white. So, we printed ten naff, black and white posters, and took them round to places we knew creative types would visit – The Book Hive and the Playhouse Bar in Norwich, Sunrise Frames, The Coconut Loft and Lowestoft Library closer to home.  And, of course, we mentioned it wherever we could on Facebook in the week leading up to the event.

“We”, in case you were curious, was myself and my partner, Morgana McAllister. Neither of us had any friends that would have reliably helped us out, so we did everything ourselves. In shifts. From our living room. On a £90 second hand laptop.

But, despite all these “barriers”, despite my own terror that no one would show up, that we’d end up talking to ourselves – the event was a success. Exhausting, but a success.

We had a recognised “reach” of 1,000 people through Facebook, and a recognised engagement rate – people clicking links, commenting, liking and posting, etc – of 20%.  For our first-ever event. With no money spent on it.  From an unknown brand.

We met new people, saw fantastic examples of artwork, watched connections being made and re-established, saw people being inspired to make an existing project even better, or start a new one.  We had conversations on everything from politics to metaphysics, from inspiration to wealth and income inequality.

We never had a single moment that we weren’t on a “high”, there was never a point – not at 11.30pm, or 7.30am, or 3am – when we regretted or resented what we were doing. 10 minutes from the end, and we were both saying how much we wished it didn’t have to end.

And we’re already planning the next one – 7.30am GMT Friday 4th December – 9.00pm GMT Sunday 6th December, again on Facebook.

We’re also focusing on making Leaves of Dreams a physical reality – a high-street shop exclusively selling and promoting work by independent creatives, opening late into the evening during the week, and running on a continual basis over the weekends, to provide an attractive, inspiring, calm and safe place for people to go to in the evenings, as a viable alternative to the pubs and clubs.  We’ve got a business plan, and we’re committed to finding funding and premises.

If you’d like to follow us, you’re more than welcome to join our Facebook group Leaves of Dreams – Leaves Falling Everywhere, and to like our page, Leaves of Dreams. (You can also add myself, Ashley Cliveson, and Morgana McAllister on Facebook – the more the merrier!)

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Written by Ashley Cliveson

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