Arts funding boost for north-western greenfield festivals

The organisers of Just So, Kendall Calling and Ramsbottom festivals were granted Arts Council funding of £128,900 in January. The Northwest Greenfield Festivals Family Arts Project, a new consortium headed by Just So founders Wild Rumpus, will receive the award across two years.

The Arts Council England strategic touring fund works to make arts experiences available to more people across England, particularly targeting areas which rely on touring shows for quality arts and entertainment. The project partners will collaborate to commission and tour new artworks, sharing knowledge and resources across the UK sector.

Arts Council regional director Alison Clark-Jenkins explained: “One of the aims of the programme is to increase family audiences and this project will help us to achieve this by expanding the amount of high quality outdoor arts provision for families at music-focused commercial festivals.”

Pic: Thanks to David Sorley

Just So Festival – Rode Hall Parkland, 15-17 August 2014

Just So Festival, set up in 2009, aims to create a magical experience for familes where art, music and literature are embedded in a wondrous landscape.

Wild Rumpus, a not-for-profit social enterprise now based at the Whirligig, a four acre woodland at Rode Hall in Cheshire, was established to encourage family engagement in the arts as a route to individual creativity and family cohesion. Music, theatre, visual and sound performances, workshops and installations already announced for 2014 include the Northern Chamber Orchestra, The Wind And The Sun outdoor circus, dressing up in the Imaginarium, forest dancing games, mermaids and pirates.

Festival director Sarah Bird said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded this funding, we’re committed to enabling and encouraging families to access brilliant transformative arts in immersive outdoor environments.
Weekend and day tickets are currently available at Tier One prices, with weekend camping passes £100 for adults and £45 for kids.

Thanks to Phil King for this pic

Ramsbottom Festival – Ramsbottom Cricket Club, 19-21 September 2104

Organised by Bury Metropolitan Arts Association (locally known as ‘The Met’), the second edition of this family-friendly boutique music festival in the country town of Ramsbottom won Small Tourism Event of the Year at the Manchester Tourism Awards 2013. Conceived to celebrate the beautiful Greater Manchester town, the event affectionately called ‘Rammyfest’ now welcomes an inspired, eclectic mix of emerging musicians and established artists and DJs, attracting over 6,500 visitors. Last year’s event was headlined by Sinéad O’Connor (picture), Richard Hawley and I Am Kloot.
See the festival website for more information as it’s released.

Thanks to Rachel Docherty for this pic

Kendal Calling – Lowther Deer Park, 1-3 August 2014

Best-known nationally of the three, the Lake District’s Kendal Calling was voted Best Small Festival 2010 and Best Medium-sized Festival 2013 at the UK Festival Awards. Proud of its independent spirit, it was started in 2006 by indie and dance music enthusiasts as a two-day event at Kendal’s Abbot Hall Park.  It now takes over a Deer Park in Hackthorpe for three days, and has almost doubled its capacity to 14,000 for 2014.

Eleven arenas will include dance and ‘houseparty’ tents, world and new music stages, comedy and a village green. A theme, to be announced, will be reflected in decor, installations, performance art and fancy dress. Last year’s featured headliners Basement Jaxx, The Charlatans and Primal Scream and within its movie theme achieved a world record for the largest gathering of people dressed up as Superman.
Weekend camping tickets currently available cost £115 for adults, £60 for teens, and are free for kids.

Projects also granted funding included a nationally touring Afrovibes Festival and Making Craft Perform, a programme of ephemeral pop-up artworks for community locations in the North and Midlands.

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