BIG Little Gigs : The journey so far, by Sarah Wilson, November 2018

BIG Little Gigs was born out of a conversation between myself and Caroline (Luxi, Jabberwocky Market). One gloomy morning chatting over coffee and finding myself in an unfocussed state, suffering from some confidence issues and trying to find out where my creative journey needed to travel to next. To put it very simply the light bulb moment came when Caroline asked “what matters to you?”, my answers were “children” and “live music”.

That was it! The light bulb moment! Within a very short space of time BIG Little Gigs was born! With support and guidance from Luxi, I held my first event as part of Jabberwocky Market’s Autumn season of 2015. We launched with a pay what you decide gig featuring a New Orleans inspired brass band “Burbank Street Brass” playing to a crowd of over 100 families in Darlington Crown Street library. The band were wonderful and in amongst the New Orleans jazz , they played a beautiful cover of Frozen’s “Let It Go” to a room full of small people singing along.

Three years later and BIG Little Gigs has been on a very diverse journey. I have held performances featuring folk, jazz, ceilidhs, Beatles tribute, pop, silent disco, funk and soul,classical quartets, beatboxing, swing band, raves, blues, world music, electro-pop and even branched out into the world of dance by beginning 2018 with a sold out breakdancing workshop. I have run BIG Little Gigs events in Barnard Castle, Stockton, Bedale and Durham.

As an events producer who has 15 years of experience, putting on family events has expanded my skill set and broadened my horizons. Due to the popularity of BIG Little Gigs I have pushed my boundaries and branched out into the world of being a community musician. I have been running musical workshops not just to children but also to vulnerably elderly people at ARC, Stockton and for Equal Arts project Hen Power. I have created and run fun, musical installations for TIN Arts family festival Includfest, for Theatre Hullabaloo and learnt a whole host of new skills, met a great network of musicians and other creatives, whilst having a lot of fun along the way.

My passion in setting up BIG Little Gigs was to bring families together to have a joint, enjoyable experience of music, to inspire a love, interest and respect for a variety of musical genres in the next generation and to have a fun sociable experience that is accessible to all. Lack of funding and running costs has meant that BIG Little Gigs has not run as often as I would like, but looking ahead to 2019 I have grand plans for the future and with a very lovely supportive circle of BIG Little Gigs “goers’ and network of support, I feel there is room for the project to continue to grow and develop. In the spirit of BIG Little Gigs and my love of music, here’s a Curtis Mayfield quote for the future of BIG Little Gigs and, I guess just a mantra for everyday life too xx

“Move on up, and keep on wishing
Remember your dream is your only scheme
So keep on pushing”

– Sarah Wilson

To find out more see their own website BIG Little Gigs
Email [email protected] and like their facebook page