'Plato's Drums' Kicks Off Luminaria's Rain-Check Performances

Nov 9, 2015

After severe rain forced the cancelation of many Luminaria 2015 performances in late October, event organizers have announced the rescheduling of its first performance. San Antonio’s indie art-rock band, Buttercup, and visual artist Chris Sauter, have teamed up for “Plato’s Drums.” 

Their piece is a combination of live concert, video projections, a hand-built wall and a “nod to Greek philosophy” that promises to transform a vacant lot into a pop-up light-filled art installation.

Luminaria, originally scheduled for Oct. 23-24, had a rain plan in place that forced many of the performers and artists inside on Friday night. However, Saturday, a number of events were canceled when it became clear it would be too dangerous for patrons to make the trip downtown and also dangerous for artists working with electricity in the rain.

“What ended up happening, it was definitely not what we planned and definitely not want we wanted,” said Luminaria spokeswoman Sarah Fisch. “It was heartbreaking to scale it down the way we had to.”

In its eighth iteration, the festival had a new location on the grounds of, and around the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA), and for the first time a permanent executive director, Kathy Armstrong. This year’s projects included a lot of dance collaborations, especially outside, and also a number of light-based projects that required high powered projectors and access to electricity.

“It just became clear … that some of those were untenable,” Fisch said. “Some of those projects we just had to shelve.”

The future plan for Luminaria is to continue working with the artists and to find ways to incorporate them into upcoming events — a move that actually works well with an already discussed strategy to hold events year-round instead of just once a year, Fisch said.

“So we’ve really pivoted to that plan with those artists who had to cancel,” Fisch said. “The artists were really great, asking ‘How can we help and when can we help? What other events can we participate in?’”

There was early support from SAMA and from Feliz Padrón, the director of the city’s department of culture and creative development, Fisch said, who told organizers the city will honor the commitment made to artists, that they will be honored and celebrated.

Fisch said planning is in the works to develop a timeline to spotlight those artists who were forced to cancel. In the coming weeks, Luminaria lovers should keep an eye on social media and the local press to see how the schedule shakes out.

“Plato’s Drums” begins at 7 p.m. with Buttercup performing at 8 on Friday, Nov.13. It’s a free event — with beer and food available for purchase — at 1101 Broadway near the corner of Jones Street.

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