Village Green 2019

July 15, 2019 by Joanna

Metal’s Village Green in Chalkwell Park on Saturday 13 July saw a capacity crowd enjoy a fantastic array of performances, arts, culture, play and entertainment. Following a year off in 2018, the festival returned with more stages and artists than ever before to mark its tenth edition. 

18,000 people enjoyed the activities in Chalkwell Park. There was music, dance, colour, flags, singing, characters, makers, traders, artists, storytellers, poets and so very much more.

Highlights across the festival were the beautiful costumes and performances of the dancers and singers on the Global Village Stage and their procession around the site complete with drums; SK Shlomo, fresh from his Glastonbury appearance, gave a powerful performance in the Space in Between tent; the Grrrl Zine fair where Gal Dem led talks and workshops and poet extraordinaire John Hegley who once again delighted Village Green crowds with his unique take on the world. 

Fun Lovin’ Criminals and headliners Busted played brilliant sets to a packed main arena where some fans had waited all day to be at the front for the performances.  The crowd danced and sang to hit after hit from Busted as the evening drew to a close.

Village Green is  a not-for-profit event made possible by the generous support of local and national funders.  This year the principle funders were Arts Council England, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, ForwardMotion, c2c, Essex Cultural Diversity Project, Atlantic Pacific Arriva, First Essex and South Essex College. As well as funders, a huge team of over 100 volunteers give up their time to help make the festival happen, getting involved in almost every aspect of Village Green from stage dressing to working on gates, to artist liaison. 

Sean McLoughlin, Festival Director said: ’ The tenth Village Green was every bit as amazing as I knew it would be with a fantastic line up of acts and dedicated staff and volunteers pulling together to offer young and old a great day of art, fun and music. It is a huge undertaking with a small team which grows on the day to include industry professionals, local helpers and brilliant young people and volunteers. We are truly grateful to all of them and to all our funders without whom it would not be possible to run Village Green. 

This year was the biggest festival ever with almost 2000 artists, crew and staff working over 14 areas covering everything from recycled bike sculpture to flower crowns, sensory play to ethical traders. It is a joy to be able to bring them altogether and see so many people trying new things, meeting artists, discovering new music and making new friends.’

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