Jem Maynard-Watts (aka Thomas Trilby) takes a quick dip into just a few things on offer for children and families at Greenbelt 2017.
Greenbelt is just a few weeks away and I am very excited about the families and children’s content at the festival. 2017 will be my 23rd consecutive Greenbelt, having worked at, or contributed to, each one – including stewarding, stage-managing, compering, fire juggling, site management, worship planning, stilt-walking and lighting designing).
My children are now 11 and 14 and have grown up attending Greenbelt, so I have seen how important the festival is to kids and families.
For the last 13 years, I have programmed family areas and children’s activities at other national festivals, too, so it is great to have been able to help with the booking of the Children’s and Family programming at Greenbelt both last year and this.
(And I still get to perform a bit too! See me around site over the weekend – and especially in The Glade Arena at 2:15 on Monday, as Thomas Trilby!)
There are lots of activities for families to participate in this year – shows, workshops. and arts & crafts. From big withy willow weaving to detailed enamelling via quilting, journey sticks and a variety of make & take crafts. We are also happy to welcome St Paul’s Cathedral School‘s art activities and the Quakers with Kites Not Drones.
Families can have a go at new things in drumming and belly dance workshops, as well as the popular circus skills workshop and clay modelling. For pre-schoolers, there is Tatty Bumpkin Yoga and Mini-Professors science experiments.
Wherever you look, there’s a heap of things for all ages at Greenbelt, but here are a couple of my personal highlights:
You can make a great festival souvenir from an old vinyl record at The Groovy Records Workshop. You transform an old LP into a clock, mirror, photo frame or spinning top – using paints, a bike wheel, scrapers and glitter. We guarantee you will be delighted with the results. You even get an original record sleeve to take it home in. Please note, no decent records are harmed in this workshop!
Complete Wasters are an environmental social enterprise promoting greener living. They offer Green inspiration and actions for the public, demonstrating and encouraging individuals on how to live economically.
Glamba Drumming Workshops
Glamba is a fun theatrical percussion group who perform a unique blend of Brazilian, African and Western beats (played on everything from Samba drums through to dustbins!) that are fused together to create a dynamic force of rhythm ‘n’ soul – all with a touch of humour with plenty of laughs along the way.
David Gibb will perform a live music gig, with elements of storytelling in-between the songs. He is an award-winning song writer and story teller on a mission to create great music for children and families. Join David on a musical journey through his hilarious and often surreal imagination which is guaranteed to have both parents and children singing along in no time. ‘Climb That Tree’ is the title of David Gibb’s second album.
Each day in the festival’s main theatre space, The Playhouse, there are great all-age shows, too – from Big Howard’s Loltastik YukFest for Kids and Well-Trained Adults, to BGT semi-finalists Lords of Strut with their Family Show, Bibi and Bichu’s Circus Abyssinia, and Acrojou.
You can download the programme for the Make and Create craft venue and the Learn and Do workshop and performance venues here. But remember, there’s lots and lots of other stuff happening all across site for children and families – from fun and games on the West Lawn to pop-up theatre, bushcraft and tree-climbing!