Every festival has those things that set them apart. Glastonbury has the Pyramid Stage. End of the Road has its peacocks. Burning Man has, well, a massive burning man.
But what about Greenbelt? What are some of the most Greenbelt things about Greenbelt? You’ll have your own, but here are seven to help get you started.
1. A pub called The Jesus Arms. Serving locally-brewed ales and ciders, it’s the perfect place to sit and talk about theology. Or politics. Or TV. Or escape the rain. (Except it’s not going to rain this year.)
2. Homegrown shows. Greenbelt makes its own content – like Martyn Joseph’s singer-songwriter circle, The Rising; Cole Moreton’s paper review, The Daily Mirror; and Paul Cookson’s The Family Twist – all featuring great Greenbelt artists.
3. A feminist tent. Well, not strictly. But The Red Tent is a space (and programme) designed with women in mind. A place to laugh, cry, pray, share, be. It’s the first time we’ve done this, but it will feel like it’s always been with us.
4. John Bell. There are some people whose wit and wisdom we simply cannot live without. That’s why John has become a standing item. His words are like the very best festival food each year. Fresh. Wholesome. Sustaining.
5. Deaf and disabled access. Some festivals aren’t the easiest to navigate if you have additional access needs. Not Greenbelt! Our award-winning facilities for the disabled mean that everyone can enjoy what the festival has to offer.
6. A festival-wide communion. Yep. It’s a logistical challenge but every year, without fail, we all gather on festival Sunday to break bread together en masse. Suffice to say, it’s a very large loaf.
7. Charles Handy, Newton Faulkner and a Goth Eucharist. It sounds like the start of a bad joke. But no, this is Greenbelt – where 85-year-old productivity guru Handy, folk troubadour Faulkner, and a Goth Eucharist all share the programme.