On Thursday 14th June, Ignite Chelmsford descended on The Transition for The Magic of Festivals.
Garry Ormes and Pete Watts from Essex Pride (16th June) were our first guest speakers of the evening. Their passion for the event and what it represents really shone through as they explained the history of Pride, celebrated in June every year across the world, which marks the anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York. It really hit home how the LGBT community in the UK still face oppression and underrepresentation in legislation and society: it was only 4 years ago that same-sex marriage was legalised in England, Wales and Scotland. Essex Pride is still a protest, as well as a community celebration event, supported by families, local authorities, local services and charities
In future, you can get involved by volunteering at the event, getting a ticket and enjoying the fantastic line-up, and by getting in touch with the Essex Pride team to get them involved in your projects.
They were followed by Edith Miller and Tony Morrison from Chelmsford Arts and Cultural Festival (23rd June – 1stJuly), who shared some progress updates. Having secured sponsorship from Decathlon in Chelmsford, the team now have printed volunteer t-shirts, complete with the festival logo. All they need now is volunteers to wear them! If you’d like to give up some of your time to help do something totally new in Chelmsford, get in touch via their Facebook page. They have also received their full printed event programme, with copies available in locations across the city, and on the website.
Our final speaker, Doug Hunter of Hungry Arts, has created festivals celebrating all kinds of arts and cultural festivals, with the aim of connecting and integrating communities. Previous projects have included the Gypsy Arts Festival, which crossed generations, challenged stereotypes, and threw an excellent party wherever it went, and the Polish Arts Festival, which provided a platform for Polish artists in the UK and abroad. Doug’s current project, Shanghai mi mi, explores Chinese dance and music in small, intimate settings.
Louise Parker, a local singer-songwriter, performed 3 acoustic tracks to round off an inspiring evening. Rear-view Mirror, Paradise, and The Lemon Tree showed off Louise’s singing and song-writing skills, the strong country influence.
Thanks also to DJ Cantcantcarwyn, whose set created the perfect vibe for our venue.
Next time: Unleash The Power of Music on Thursday 12th July – venue tbc…