Free festival at Delapre Abbey will mark fifth birthday of Northampton community magazine

The Happy Hood magazine is celebrating its fifth birthday this month and marking it with a festival at Delapre Abbey.The Happy Hood magazine is celebrating its fifth birthday this month and marking it with a festival at Delapre Abbey.
The Happy Hood magazine is celebrating its fifth birthday this month and marking it with a festival at Delapre Abbey.
Everyone is welcome to come along and experience live music, an art fair, creative workshops, poetry performances and more

Northampton community magazine, ‘The Happy Hood’ is inviting everyone to the Happy Hood Festival at Delapre Abbey to mark their fifth birthday this month.

The festival will take place in the historic abbey’s walled garden on Saturday, April 15 and celebrate The Happy Hood’s twentieth issue with live music, performances, a mindful walk, an art fair and creative workshops - all free of charge for everyone to enjoy.

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Happy Hood’s founder, Laura Graham, said: “I am looking forward to bringing everyone together and having an opportunity to celebrate all the hard work that the volunteers have put into the project for the last five years and obviously listening to some great music and being able to showcase some great artists as well.”

Music will be performed by Babylung, Greg Coulson, Brooklyn, Viddy and Nerissa Simmone. Performing poetry will be Growing Nai and Tre Ventour.

Delapre Abbey’s onsite cafe ‘Common Ground’ will be providing refreshments.

Laura, a freelance writer and community activist who has lived in Northampton on and off for 17 years - launched The Happy Hood in April 2018 to fight back against the negative narrative that she said dominated the story of Northampton.

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The quarterly print celebrates all that is good about Northampton and gives recognition to independent businesses, charities, community groups and individuals for their contributions to Northampton.

Laura told the Chronicle & Echo: “I think it has just been really important for people to just see that there are ordinary local people doing something to big up the town.

“I don’t have a lot of money or privilege or particular skills, it was just a group of friends who decided to do something to celebrate everyone.”

When this newspaper asked Laura if she expected The Happy Hood to still be going strong in 2023, she said she did not.

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She continued: “People at the time were like, ‘you’re mad’ and ‘there’s not enough to write about’. Even the positive people were shocked that we had news to share and thought we would run out of ideas after two issues.”

Since its launch, the magazine has secured funding, collaborated with schools and is now stocked by 17 local businesses.

The Happy Hood’s success can be attributed to the magazine’s army of over 250 volunteer artists, writers and designers.

Laura added: “I think the biggest impact we’ve had is showing people you have the power to do good and every small good action really does make a difference.

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Neighbours and local communities, if they come together, can change a lot of things.

“I feel it has inspired people and given them a sense of pride in Northampton and, I hope, for the future.”

The Happy Hood Festival will take place in the walled garden at Delapre Abbey on Saturday, April 15 from 12pm to 4pm.

There is free onsite car parking and cycle racks available. The vent will be fully accessible, family-friendly, free and open to everyone.

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The Happy Hood, which is funded entirely by readers and grants, is always on the lookout for volunteer writers and artists - they do not need to be professional.

For more information or to subscribe to The Happy Hood magazine, visit