Catnip Festival’s James Elphick on the London Cat Video Spectacular
‘Cat videos are IMPORTANT.’
James Elphick certainly thinks so with his new festival Catnip dedicated to the feline film. We caught up with him to ask about the festival. Results below…
Tell us about Catnip Festival? How did it come about?
Some friends and I were talking about how every now and then we need to take a step back and look around. This city life makes finding the time to gain a little perspective rare as all too often we’re busy dashing from A to B, consumed in our own lives. We like to spend our down time in the company of friends and family, unwinding and indulging in many various forms of entertainment, a lot of which nowadays can be found online. One of us piped up and admitted they spend most of their downtime watching cat videos, and they just wished they could combine that passion with their other pastimes in one space, creating the greatest shindig known to mankind. Then someone else admitted that they, too, wanted that. And another. We had a Spartacus moment.
What can people expect to experience at the festival? Are there any highlights we shouldn’t miss?
It’ll be like the great big silly party you always wished someone would just go ahead and put on. Well, we did it. We have fantastic DJs setting the dancefloor alight, a fully licensed bar, cabaret, interactive cat games, a cat video room playing, cat video awards show – the winners chosen as voted for on the website, plus lots, lots more. Paw www.nip.cat into your browser to purruse the delights in more detail.
On the Catnip Festival website you ask for cat video submissions. What advice would you give to keen cat filmmakers out there to make a great submission?
We want to establish once and for all which are London’s favourite cat videos. This is obviously a subject of considerable importance, so we urge people to go to the website and make their voices heard. Your city needs you.
What are your favourite places in London (to go out/to relax/to eat)?
Well obviously number one would have to be the our local cat cafe Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium to make sure we’re up to date on the latest cat trends and to mingle with our muses. But when we’re not nose to the grindstone, we like Brick Lane food market late on a Sunday afternoon as there’s always a stall owner who will feed us; the Dairy Crest depot in Wimbledon has a security guard that always pets us and lets us through; and the New Covent Garden market in Nine Elms for the fishies.
What are your favourite free and cheap things to do in London?
Long strolls around the city’s parks are a great way to unwind and to see some of the natural beauty we so often miss in the city. They’re also great for rubbing up against trees to mark our territory and for hissing at dogs. Columbia Road flower market is another favourite – plenty to satisfy the eye there and lots of grass to eat. And the city’s museums are a big draw – free and brimming with goodness, they remind us of the good old days when milk was free at school. Obviously we avoid fruit and veg markets like the plague. You never know when a cucumber might sneak up on you.
I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like free, cheap & offbeat London, especially: cabaret, art, theatre, pop-ups, eating out, quirky films, museums, day trips, social enterprise & much more.