Popular Plymouth festival set for a bumper year
A POPULAR community festival is set to be bigger and better than ever this year, organisers have promised.
The Freedom Fields Festival will take place in Freedom Fields Park in Greenbank over the first weekend in June, featuring the usual mix of musicians, artists and a vast array of stalls.
The free festival regularly attracts about 2,000 people, and organiser Jonathan Spurling says preparations are well under way for this year's event.
He said: "We have been talking since before Christmas and it is coming together. The main issue is funding. We rely on lots of goodwill, voluntary input and imagination."
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Mr Spurling says the organising committee is determined to keep the festival free for the community, but wants to keep attracting popular musical acts.
"We are looking to keep that balance between local quality and something successful," he said. "We would just like to keep it growing as much as possible and giving opportunities to musicians."
The two-day festival will be the culmination of a week of community events including older people's tea dances, a "silly Olympics" event, a youth music day and history workshops.
Councillor Chaz Singh, member for Drake ward, said: "The idea is to have different community groups and individuals involved. It is about bringing the community together, that's the foundation of it really.
"You could have people who live next door to each other who bump into each other at the festival and start chatting.
"This could be Plymouth's answer to the Hackney festival."
Ali Steen, who co-ordinates the musical side of the festival, said: "There is a lot of talent in this area and a festival like this really brings them together."
It was formerly known as the Mutley Greenbank Festival, but the name was changed three years ago to include a wider area.
Mr Spurling said: "We are in the middle of different wards here and it made it quite exclusive to the area.
"We thought it would be nice to feel that it was a bit more open."