New Mills Festival was 'absolutely brilliant' say organisers

Organisers say the two-week programme of music, arts and events which made up New Mills Festival gave the town a much needed boost.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 3:58 pm

For 17 days the town was filled with music, art exhibitions, poetry, comedy, guided walks and puppet shows.

There was also Light-up New Mills, the Art Trail, food events, crafts, talks, dancing, pop-up parks, children’s activities, drama and The Straw Bear.

The festival’s media officer Alison Johnson said: “I think we crammed more into this festival than ever before. There was something for everyone and this was reflected in the sheer number of people who turned out to make the festival great.”

The We Move Together Women with the their life sized human bunting. Pic Annie Greatorex

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Alison said: “I was taken back by surprise by the sheer diversity of the line-up. It really was the most packed and varied festival we have ever put on. It was absolutely brilliant.

"Considering earlier in the year we didn’t even know if the festival would be going ahead at all or if it would all be virtual makes it even better.”

One of Alison’s highlights was the We Move Together event which saw 10 local women putting on decorated cloaks which told their personal story.

The folk night on the last night of the festival at Torr Vale Mill

Alison said: “It was a very visual performance as they danced through the streets and the cloaks were all triangular so they all came together to form human bunting which is something I’d never seen before.”

She added: “One thing that sticks in my mind is walking down the high street after the shops had shut and seeing all the businesses which had decorated their windows for the art trail.

"I was looking at the art but then I looked around and saw other people had come out to enjoy the art too and it felt really special.”

The theme for this year’s festival was home and last year households across the town were given wheat seeds and invited to grow a 1m patch of wheat in their gardens as part of the Home Farm project.

The Straw Bear on the prom

The wheat was harvested during the festival and brought people together in a different way, said Alison.

Paying tribute to those who made the festival happen, Alison said: “After a tough 18 months it has been really good to put the festival on and do it well and it gave the town a much needed boost.

"Huge thanks go to the festival committee who give up large amounts of their own time throughout the year and all the volunteers to help us put on each event and decorate the town.

“Also thanks to all the local businesses who help and participate in so many ways.”

Visitors to the art trail looking in the window of local wool / weaving shop Wiseheart and Wild

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