Attracting visitors from all over the world, Monmouth Festival it is proud to be considered one of the longest running, largest and best free, volunteer-organised festivals in Europe.
“The fact that Monmouth Festival has continued as a volunteer-run, free festival for so many years is a huge achievement,” notes Festival Secretary Cerys Watts.
Taking place over nine nights at the end of July each year, the free music event - now in it’s 34th year - continues to grow in it’s diversity and with the ever-increasing line-up of events, which now include the Carnival, Busking Festival and a growing Fringe schedule, comes the requirement for more planning and preparation by the committee of hard-working and passionate volunteers that put it all together.
On the surface, for the town of Monmouth, the majority of activity surrounding the Festival seems to take place the week before the music kicks off. Local residents will see a stage pop-up almost overnight while traders gradually filter into the town setting-up shop to keep the crowds refreshed during the week’s musical performances. The reality is in fact very different!
Throughout the year the team of volunteers liaise with the main providers and supporters ranging from town and county councils through stage, light and sound to security, health and safety, and medial cover. Applications are made for the numerous necessary permissions required to put on the nine-day event, from road closures to licences, grant funding to car park requisition, medical support to venue registration, in order to make sure that everything runs smoothly and everyone enjoys themselves.
Ollie Jefferies has been involved with the event for several years but certainly isn’t phased by the increased workload as it continues to expand. “I really enjoy my role focussing on scouting performers for the festival’s fringe events. Monmouth Festival gives artists a place to perform and showcase their talents, regardless of how new or experienced they may be and I feel proud to be a part of that.”
Come rain or shine, you will always see people of all ages enjoying themselves at Monmouth Festival. It’s a fantastic free event to attend with friends and family and has always prided itself on being extremely friendly, relaxed and an opportunity for all generations of people to come together and enjoy themselves. This is definitely one of the reasons the not-for-profit organisation continues to be supported by so many loyal volunteers.
One of the longest-standing volunteers is Bleddyn Richards. “I first became involved with the Monmouth Festival through the spin-off event ‘ROCKFAIR’ in 1984/85,” he explains. “I have since supported the festival as a member of the committee, a member of the audience and as a performer.”
Right now July might seem a long way away but for the Festival Committee it will be here in the blink of an eye! If you can’t wait until summer, keep a look out for up and coming fringe events, more news and updates by following Monmouth Festival on Facebook and Twitter.
The Festival relies on hardworking volunteers, your donations, our advertisers, sponsors and friends, without whom we could not put on the show and our partner traders whose success also helps to fund the free festival.
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