The UK festival scene is class. I’d thought long and hard about how I could open up a blog post on this. Do I focus on a particular music genre like heavy post punk math rock or heavy base speaker stacked stages that will wobble the wellies of any passer-by? Or on other festivals such as arts or literature?
Ultimately, the beauty of the UK festival and events scene is its diversity, especially in the summer. It terms of all-round great Britishness, it should be up there with cliches like afternoon tea and Big Ben.
There are now thousands of UK-based festivals that are born out of endless amounts of single, unified or combined scenes. To me, you can’t beat an unadulterated music centric festival that spans over a hot summer weekend, with a packed line-up with acts I know I want to see, and acts I didn’t know I wanted to see – until I did! There are food and drink festivals in just about every town and city in the UK, and collaborations of companies, arts and music, as well as a host of events that don’t even exist on the commercial radar.
My feelings have always been that winter in the UK is bleak. 5pm is night-time, it rains sideways, and each year a highlight can be found in planning the most waterproof jackets and the thickest gloves that can be equipped to survive the next 6 months of the tyrannical winter. Fun things to do with your spare time be halved by the outside world turning into a post-apocalyptic tundra terrain.
Then comes summer.
Now, excluding all the wonderful things like holidays abroad, staycations, city breaks and BBQs, the festival circuit in the UK is an experience to itself. I dare say that there’s something for everybody’s flavour. It’s an absolute powerhouse of industry that produces people’s happy place; attendees walk away with unforgettable moments that they’ll always look back on and enjoy. It’s an industry that changes your hard-earned fun tokens into well-earned fun, and more.
That driving force for good has always been a crux to UK festivals, not just to what guests and campers enjoy, but for how festival organisers have supported charities and causes that they care about. Festivals grow smarter each year, working hard to become carbon neutral, reduce and remove single use plastics, upcycle abandoned camping equipment for on the ground support with local homeless charities, and have any number of fundraising campaigns running before, during and after the event to help offset the operating costs of causes and charities they care about. We’re running toward the end of one just now for the Manchester based music festival, Moovin, which supports the Wildlife Trust.
Entire festival-centric bodies of authority and advice, as well as action groups, have started to steer festival organisers onto a path of using their events for good. Teams like Ecolibrium and Julies Bicycle are industry responses to climate change. My Cause UK has turned the experience of volunteering at festivals into a charitable act, and Oxfam even have popup charity shops at UK festivals! It’s always been a common site to see the charity stalls, bucket collections and information points related to good causes at events, but as the country begins to move on from the pandemic, a full return to the traditional charity fundraiser appeals appears a long way off. More than half of charities do not expect to reach pre-pandemic levels for their fundraising events by the end of 2022, according to a survey by Pro Bono Economics.
The bank of England’s last quarterly bulletin published that cash is less in use than ever and charities have had to brace themselves for the ongoing effect of a downturn in donations. This is particularly prescient with cash-centred donations and initiatives.
One of our many goals at Play Fund Win is to provide a platform that can bridge this gap. Working with festival and event organisers to support charities and causes to provide a fundraising campaign that incentives support from attendees, can be promoted further and wider than the plastic buckets can reach, and comes with a massive number of benefits for charities, event organisers and even the guests. I could go on to categorically list an endless scroll of features and benefits. But Play Fund Win is unique and so are our partners, and as this love letter to UK festivals suggests – so is everything associated with them.
If something in this piece has resonated with you and you’ve stuck with me until the end of this article then drop me a line to see how we can support with fundraising at your event, via: Kyle.Blythe@playfundwin.com