No matter which way you chose to vote in this month’s general election (should you decide to do so of course) perhaps only the Tin Man would be heartless enough to scorn the reasoning behind Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to offer four new bank holidays should Labour be elected to power. Put simply ‘Jezza’ makes the very straightforward statement that “there is so much insecurity in people’s lives that having more breaks and spending time with your family and loved ones can only be a good thing”. Without getting overly sentimental, the point is well made and supported in droves by medical evidence which suggests that (for most of us) spending time with people we feel close to brings considerable health benefits.
Focused almost entirely around the theme of creating opportunities for families to spend time together (as well as finding ways to contribute to local charities) Manor Farm’s Staxonbury (“Stackers” to it’s friends) returns on the 7th July for it’s ninth year.
Built around an environment including over 50 concessions and free children’s activities such as Arts and Crafts Marquee, Tennis, Football and Golf Coaching, Farmer Toms’ Haystack play area and the under 12’s disco Stackers offers a range of opportunities to succeed with the Festival’s intention to provide an atmosphere which is family friendly and safe.
Speaking with NE Volume, co-organiser Ray Roberts was keen to underline the Festival’s heritage “I love to see the kids play on the hay bales and dancing with their grannies. Last year we had a grannie who was 88 dancing on the dance floor with a baby and I think those are the type of stories that make Staxonbury unique and different to other festivals. It is a big family event”.
Of particular interest to NE Volume will be the musical elements of the festival and as standard to the festival, over 50 bands will appearing over the event across 5 stages. And whilst note keen to single out any one band, Ray was keen to draw attention to renowned blues-guitarist Chaz de Paulo who is flying over from America based on the strength of a recommendation from regular performers ‘Shamrockers’.
Equally important, and supporting the theme of Stackers, this years festival will provide a greater opportunity for younger, local, bands to be involved in the festival across it’s duration “it’ll be exciting to give the opportunity to some of our local bands who might have only played at smaller pubs before and see how they play in a larger venue. We hope that this might provide them with inspiration to really go out and try to do well in their bands”.
Should you need further motivation to pop your head in and say hello, it may help to realise that Stackers has a strong charity heritage and has donated proceeds from previous festivals to local charities including local churches, sports clubs and scout groups. Perhaps it’s this good-will and family friendly atmosphere which has led to the success of Stackers and it’s growing reputation as one of the places for families to spend time together. As Ray says “The festival has grown through being really friendly and we tend to find that people get to know each other and come back the next year to meet back up. We’ve never really had to advertise the festival, it’s grown by word of mouth. A reputation like that is hard to come by and we’re happy to have one”.
All of us at NE Volume hope that after all of their good work Ray, and the festival, continue with their reputation for a long time to come, no matter which government we have.