Meet the team organising a three-day festival with the aim of celebrating Northampton's community

"People are just looking for ways to have fun and hopefully we can provide that."

Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 5:40 am
The Kaya Festival team. (L-R) Josh Codner from Flux Media, Sheeren Ingram from Boxfood, and Thabani Nyoni

Organising a festival to celebrate the artistic and cultural diversity of Northampton seems to be a dream come true for Thabani Nyoni.

After years of living in the town, he believes the town could use a bit of positivity and togetherness - and he believes his Kaya Festival at Overstone Park in July can help.

"The idea is it's a cultural, family festival in the heart of Northampton which is all about diversity and community," he said.

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"With Brexit and how divided we've become, Kaya is a way to have an event within the community for people to come for a day to celebrate the town.

"People are just looking for ways to have fun and hopefully we can provide that."

Kaya started out in Wales in 2012 with mainly African and Caribbean acts but also a range of entertainment, food and stalls.

But Thabani wanted to 'bring it home' to Northampton - they had an area in the Umbrella Fair at The Racecourse last year to see if people would be interested in the real thing.

The positive feedback encouraged Thabani to take the plunge and set up the three-day festival at Overstone Park on July 24-26.

"We've got a fantastic site yet we're not expecting masses of people to turn up this year but we've got a five-year plan to make Kaya the cultural event in Northampton," he said.

A DJ set by Terry Hall from The Specials is the headline act as well as a DJ set by Don Letts, Karl Phillips and the Rejects, Soul Syndicate and more.

But Thabani has teamed up with Shereen Ingram, who runs the Northampton-based mobile food truck Boxfresh and has lots of contacts in the town's music scene.

She is excited by the prospect of giving a range of Northampton's up-and-coming a chance to shine alongside some of the more well-known acts on the line-up.

As well as the music, Shereen is planning on organising art workshops with Northampton artists plus stands from charities like Service Six in Wellingborough which works with youngsters.

"This is definitely what Northampton needs - it's a very creative town with a lot of musicians and they are all doing great things," she said.

"This is something to celebrate what Northampton has to offer."

Tickets start at £30 for adults and £7.50 for children aged over five - camping is also available from £70 for the weekend. For more information, click here.