Our music columnist Paul Dunton tells us all about Crowfest 2022 – a brand new community music festival happening this summer…
July 16 and 17 are the dates for the first-ever Crowfest music festival. This is an exciting development for the local music scene and will offer music lovers the chance to hear some of the best local original music talent on a professional festival stage right in the heart of Crowborough.
The event is free and offers a family atmosphere. Crowborough Borough Council is funding the full cost of staging the two-day festival and working closely with local charity Local & Live to provide advice on event planning, staging, sound and security.
Crowfest has been accepting artist applications through its website since late January 2022 and has already received hundreds of applications from a wide range of local soloists and bands. The event will also feature plenty of activities for children and a wide range of local stall vendors. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mia Kelly recently who works for Crowborough Borough Council and is one of the main organizers of Crowfest….
Mia, let’s start by telling you a bit about yourself and your position on Crowborough City Council…
I’m the events co-ordinator at Crowborough Town Council. I started working for the council in June 2021. My role is to organize and implement the council events program. The council runs a variety of things – from popular annual shows to one-time events. Part of my role is to continue to manage and improve the current events program and develop new ideas for potential new events.
So how did the idea for Crowfest come about?
The idea came from Peter Cunnington who is the council’s current director of operations. Peter identified a gap in the market for this type of community music event in the Crowborough area.
Where is the event taking place?
It will take place at Goldsmiths Recreation Ground in Crowborough. The recreation ground is made up of pitches, football pitches as well as an athletics track. Over the weekend of July 16 and 17, Crowfest will run from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is free. On the upper ground of Goldsmith’s you will find our large stage where a wide range of bands will perform throughout the day into the evening. The athletics track will be transformed into a child-friendly playground and a market where there will be space for 102 pitches. There will also be an Eco Hub located here which will engage its visitors in a range of activities to increase environmental awareness. The bottom field will feature a wide range of performers showing off their individual skills!
How would you best describe it?
It’s basically a revamp of our previous summer fairs here in Crowborough, but with a strong musical accent too. There will be a wide range of activities to suit people of all backgrounds and ages. As well as incorporating many elements from our previous years’ summer fairs, Crowfest will offer visitors a wide range of exciting new elements.
How important is Crowfest to the local community and why?
After a few years of intermittent global shutdowns, the need to come together and experience collective cultural joy seems more important than ever. Crowfest is a great opportunity for the Crowborough community to come together and celebrate the great musical talents of their town, as well as creating a feel-good factor and boosting the local economy by creating a platform for vendors and local businesses to promote themselves.
Do you have local food and drink vendors at the event?
Yes absolutely! There will be many food stalls to choose from, including independent locals like pizza from Doughbro, ice cream from Southern Counties, pastries from Crumbs and Treacle, pancakes from Delaney’s, burgers from Chuckaburgers, Thai Street Food from Nong’s Kitchen and donuts from Maxime Donut. Hut. There will also be a range of drinks from the Blue Anchor Pub.
The musical program will focus on basic original acts. How do you think this benefits Crowfest’s identity as a new event?
As this is an event for Crowborough and its local residents, it is important to celebrate its local talent. It’s important to give budding artists a platform to showcase their talents. The council’s events program aims to work with local businesses and support its local talent and development.