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How Sam organised an LMFF Film Night at his local friendly climbing wall

Updated: Jul 11

In York at the awesome Red Goat Climbing, the owner sat down with Sam and the result was not one, but TWO film nights!


Read how they pulled it off and you can do the same!

A climbing event at the Reg Goat Climbing centre in York, UK shows a climber suspended from the wall and a crowd of people watching.
Hanging out at Red Goat Climbing, York

Sam runs a bike shop in Ripon called Bikemonger, but when he isn't in the shop working on bikes he's over at Red Goat Climbing, working on boulder problems. As a fan of adventure film he decided to see if he could persuade the owner at Red Goat, Adam, to host a film night for members. Check out the full Red Goat Climbing Podcast in our new pod series OR if you're in a hurry, follow his story below.


Your climbing wall is always looking for ways to keep folk onsite and mix up the entertainment - here's how Sam did it in four easy steps:


Step #1 - He talked to the wall, and listened


When Sam talked to Adam about running a film night at the Red Goat, the conversation was all about the community and what they would get out of it more than anything else. It's a friendly local climbing wall that has all sorts of fun things happening all the time, and not necessarily all about climbing. Although Sam was familiar with their bouldering facilities and famous pizzas, he wasn't aware there was a space upstairs that Adam was beginning to use for special events. The film night was the perfect excuse for Adam to get hold of some screening equipment, and Sam figured out that if he timed the event so that people would have time for a beer and a pizza afterwards - their two best bits! - then the wall would be more up for it.



"The important thing was understanding what the community loved about the wall."



Step #2 - He tucked the event into the vibe


Sam talks about how the main objective was making it a good community get-together, and having time before and after for climbing and beers meant the film night tucked into the normal vibe at Red Goat. He kept it very informal, did a little intro and had a friend on the door to make it welcoming. There was a buzz of excitement as people settled in but it was also very relaxed. Sam reckons that the best thing about it was the fact that it was a small event compared with big theatre screenings he had been to. The combination of familiar faces and a cosy space made the whole thing work and he was still talking about it with other climbers weeks afterwards.


"Sixty people was the perfect number and I was still talking to them about it weeks later."



Step #3 - Sam chose the films that he liked himself!


He says that he worried more about the film curation than anything else - What if people ask "Why did you include that?" or thought "God, this is boring!" He didn't feel he knew people well enough to know what they were into beyond bouldering - Ski-mountaineering? Ice-climbing? In the end he went with his gut feel and simply picked the films that he enjoyed the most. And since he's as much a part of that community as anyone it worked!



"I just thought, well if I like something then why wouldn't they like it too?"



Step #4 - He repeated the climbing wall film night on demand!


Red Goat was so chuffed with their climbing wall film night of sixty people that they decided to repeat it a week later. The decision to do this could have been made earlier, as soon as it became obvious that the first night would sell out. Naturally, because this was their first night they wanted to make sure things had gone smoothly before committing. They did! So when people were asking if they could do another night the promotional posters went back up and the second event pulled a further twenty people.



"The people who couldn't make the first one were really happy we did it again."


Thanks and a big well done to Sam and Red Goat!


They nailed it - and what climbing wall wouldn't want an evening of films to spark inspiration in its members and keep them coming back for more? As Sam says, his climbing wall has a captive audience. If you build it, they will come....


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