'Totally unique' community festival to return to Northampton this simmer after six-year break
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A free community festival, described as “totally unique”, will return to Northampton this summer after a six-year break.
After a break that was extended due to the pandemic, The Umbrella Fair Festival will take over The Racecourse once again later this year – on a date to be confirmed.
The Umbrella Fair festival graced Northampton town’s calendar for more than 10 years, and – according to organisers – grew to be one of the largest free community and environment, music and arts festival in the UK.
Now, organisers say the festival with all its “colour, vibrancy and diversity” is making a "grand return”.
Ian Bates, festival coordinator, said: “We took a break but then Covid hit and we had a longer break than expected.
"The festival is still talked about with great fondness by those who attended and we are constantly being asked to bring it back.”
The festival aims to bring local communities together, showcasing “incredible local talent and demonstrating that by supporting each other in our community, incredible things happen”. Organisers describe the event as “free of charge, no fences, no barriers to inclusion”.
The event will offer more than 100 stalls, a wide range of music and performance stages, an environmental area, crazy bikes, a children and families area, a youth area, a LGBTQ+ area, a healing area and much more.
There will be a range of entertainment stages, including the Umbrella stage, world Mela stage, jazz and classical, spoken word and more.
Morcea Walker MBE Vice Lord-Lieutenant added: “I'm delighted to hear that the Umbrella Fair Festival is coming back. It's such a great event. It brings people together from all the different parts of our communities, it's so representative.
"I see people at the Umbrella Fair Festival who I know that I just don't bump into at other events, and so many of them.
"It is totally unique, a one off.
"The thing that impresses me the most is that this organisation live their principles and show that at this event - it's all about community and the environment. They do everything possible to create a low carbon event, having only local performers, stalls, volunteers. All the power is from renewable sources and the food is all vegan. It's wonderful news.”
At the centre of the festival there will also be the Umbrella Climate Emergency Action Hub, which will be highlighting the latest climate science and the predicted shape of things to come for Northampton. The hub will provide a range of actions that residents can undertake to reduce the potential impact of the climate crisis. This includes a wide range of projects to get involved in, well-being support, green projects, food projects and an opportunity to be part of a community that understands how to support each other.
Organisers say the date for the festival will be announced soon. They are also looking for new volunteers to join the team. More information can be found on the Umbrella Fair website.