10 Parishes Festival turns over a New Leaf

REGISTRATION is open for the 2021 biennial 10 Parishes Festival, which is planned to run from 11th to 19th September.

The festival promotes and celebrates visual and performing arts in the parishes of Wiveliscombe, and the surrounding villages, Fitzhead, Milverton, Clatworthy, Brompton Ralph, Huish Champflower, Chipstable, Waterrow, Stawley and Ashbrittle.

The usual January festival launch is not taking place, because of Covid-19 restrictions. However, the committee is confident that this year’s festival will be able to operate much as usual, given the experience of artists who participated in Somerset Art Works’ 2020 Somerset Open Studios, and the roll-out this year of the vaccination programmet. This year’s theme is New Leaf.

Writer and journalist Rosie Boycott, the festival’s patron, (pictured), says: “Outside our windows the pandemic is still roaring, and so many people have had terrible times last year and indeed are still having them, right now. But, I think we all know that there is now light on the horizon. We will have a chance to genuinely turn over a new leaf this year.

“Last year was without a doubt one of the strangest of my life, but within the bad things there were many good and surprising ones. In London for instance, in the early spring, people could walk freely down the middle of the roads, the skies were clear as there were no planes, and the sound of the birdsong was apparently overwhelming. Many of us rediscovered a great love of nature, many of us found that actually if we had contact with nature we could console ourselves and help others.

“Communities discovered new spirits and new priorities, and many of these things are not going to go away. The importance of the festival this coming year is to capitalise and build on the things that 2020 taught us, to celebrate nature and community, which are both represented so wonderfully in our special corner of Somerset.”

The deadline for registration is 31st March. For more information visit 10parishesfestival.org.uk