ANOTHER Hampstead Norreys FreeFest takes place this weekend (Friday to Sunday). The arts festival has a programme packed with events for all ages, whether you want to learn, create, share, perform or watch. There will be more than 40 events, at five venues, over the three days, which are all free. FreeFest chairman Andy Green says: “It is all about sharing local artists’ talents, as well as educating and inspiring as many people as possible to get involved in the arts in some form. This year’s theme ‘A place and a space’ means we are providing places to learn and spaces to practise and share, be it painting, knitting, photography, drumming or acting. As usual everything is free, thanks to a generous grant from the Big Lottery Fund.
FreeFest kicks off with an ‘Unleash the Talent’ exhibition at the village hall, running over all three days, displaying work by local artists and art created during FreeFest, with musical entertainment. Upstairs you can learn ‘How to Blog’ at the first of eight creative workshops. At the school, for children, there will be interactive storytelling, skate ramps and a workshop to ‘Make a Didgeridoo’. Children can also visit Manor Courtyard to enter the ‘Customise a T-shirt’ competition. Over the whole weekend, at the church, there will be more to enjoy; the beautiful Flower Festival, the Sculpture Trail and take part in BIG Knitting, Community Art Painting Project and Twiddlemuff Knitting.
The Summer Market will be take place in the Manor Courtyard from 10am-2pm, offering an array of 20 stalls run by local makers, including candles, jewellery, pots, scarves, pottery, wood products and boy’s toys, with live jazz music. MusicFest will kick off at noon, running through to 9pm in The White Hart pub garden, with an afternoon of music by local musicians, including blues, jazz, folk, rock, heavy rock and more. If you want to learn some new skills, there will be creative workshops
including acting, craft, HN Book Club Live, mobile photography, improvisation and mindfulness. At the school, there will be fun workshops for children including Graffiti Art, Stand-up Comedy, Mosaic and three drumming workshops run byThe Drum Runners.
The popular Cup Cake Decorating returns to the school, along with a Photo Challenge and a treasure hunt, with a creative theme across the village and there will be workshops on art, creative writing and how to be an author at the Memorial Hall.
A celebration service at the church includes an original and entertaining performance by Oddments Theatre Company, who will also be running a theatre workshop for all the family later in the afternoon. In the afternoon, The Great Get-Together Community Picnic is the FreeFest finale at Dean Meadow, hopefully in the glorious sunshine, so get your picnic hampers at the ready and enjoy some wonderful entertainment from Circorumbaba circus acts including juggling, tea dancing, acrobatics and stiltwalkers.
Some events are ticketed and some you can just turn-up to. Free tickets for the ticketed events are available from Hampstead Norreys Community Shop