Since the end of July a small but dedicated group of school students have worked with Totnes Community Development Society to create the blue print for a festival, called Golden Iris. Concerned by the death of two of their peers and friends in recent years and the increasing challenges they see and experience around mental health, and which as they say “remain invisible to most”, they want the run up to the event and the festival itself to raise the profile of young people and the urgent need for voice and activity within the community.
The festival has been designed to provide a space for the local talent to flourish and challenge perceptions about young people in Totnes, and to raise money for projects in the local community and globally, particularly around mental health and inclusion. This is a positive and practical response to issues facing young people, and a way of providing a space for the voice and talents of their colleagues within the community.
This year the festival will open with a circus themed fashion show on Friday 6th October in the centre of Totnes. Professional designers, students, and up and coming designers are being invited to show 3 pieces each and work together in launching this debut festival in their own unique and dynamic way.
On Saturday 7th there will be an open air music festival, with around 1,500 people, based upon live music from artists performing on two outdoor stages (main stage and acoustic stage), and talks and workshops (focusing on mental health and well-being and inclusion). Artists on the main stage include Two Sixty Six, Gypsy Unit, Rob Smith, Dizraeli and Gypsy Hill. An acoustic stage is dedicated to up and coming talent. Young musicians from local bands or those starting out will be given support to help them take to the stage at this event alongside the national artists.
The production group came together through a shared desire to find another way to engage their peers who feel isolated and marginalised in this community, and to provide a practical and inspiring alternative to the sometimes tragic results of this marginalisation, as they say, “enough is enough”. The Golden Iris founders are also aspiring musicians, and committed to finding sounds, fusions and techniques for their creative expression. They know that through music, dance and art we can break down barriers and bring people together. They see the process of producing music as a way to enable people with different experiences to work together, with the performance as a means to challenge perceptions of young people and demonstrate a whole range of diversity.
Totnes Community Development Society (an IPS recognised as a charity) have provided voluntary support to the group, helping the young production crew to develop their capacity to bring about change where they see it as most needed – right on their doorstep. The organisation seeks to develop assets within the community, for the benefit of the community. Young people are critical to the future of this and every other community. When they find their voice they have a habit of helping us see new ways of doing things, talking together to effect real change.
We look forward to really hearing them on 7th October at the Golden Iris festival and celebrating what it is to be together as a community and make stuff happen! Get in touch and support the Golden Iris Team Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tickets – https://goldeniris.eventbrite.co.uk Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Golden-Iris-129289837676392/ Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/goldenniris/ Twitter – @GoldenIris67
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