It’s time for Beeston Festival

The season of community festivals and galas kicks off on Saturday in Cross Flatts Park, Beeston. Over the next few weeks there will be events in Hunslet, Belle Isle and Holbeck, but as I’m on the committee that organises Beeston Festival I am writing about that.

I’ve written before on this blog that it takes all year to organise the festival. That’s true, but the bulk of the hard work gets done in the six weeks leading up to the great day. A momentum builds and a tumble of tasks follows one after another – it creates quite a buzz … and a few sleepless nights. So what have we lined up for this year? Well things have changed quite a lot over the years, but always by a process of evolution – so a lot of it will look like last year.

We’ve got four stages in the same spots as last year. The Acoustic Stage in the mellow Millennium Garden offers singer songwriters, the Leeds Music Trust Stage offers local Leeds rock bands (organised by our friends at the Old Chapel rehearsal studios in Holbeck); the Arena features dance and physical acts including belly dancers, clowns and martial arts … and a fire juggler if I can replace the guy who’s given backword in the next six days. The centrepiece is the Family Stage which will work its way from Brazilian samba to rock via the young persons’ talent show that is Junior Superstars.

New this year is the Green Zone. You won’t be able to miss it, just look for the 40′ tepee! We will also be building a greenhouse made out of plastic bottles. The residents of Beeston have come good (of course) and we have 1500 plastic bottles awaiting assembly – why not come and help? The environmental theme is carried through into the litter collection. We are segregating rubbish so that as much as possible can be recycled and we are rewarding food stalls that provide bio-degradable plates and cutlery.

As usual we will have lots of stalls in the marketplace. Food, clothing, plants, jewelery, tombolas, raffles, games and information. The market place is a great place to find out who’s doing what in Beeston. Loads of community groups have stalls – sports clubs, political parties, religious groups, self help groups, charities.

Children and young people don’t get forgotten. There will be inflatables, bungees, arts and crafts sports and a fun fair, plus the Army are bringing an inflatable assault course.

So all we need now is sunshine and ice cream – and they’ve both been booked. Come along on Saturday between 12:00 noon and 5:00pm. And tell us what you think of the festival by leaving a comment.

There’s more on the festival website If you’re on Twitter, follow us @BeestonFestival – we’ll even be tweeting on the day.

By the way – did I mention that Beeston Festival is organised entirely by volunteers? And up to 80 people help on the day – if you would like to volunteer please email to get in touch.

Other community festivals are also available: