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18 January 2018

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Audio: Community floats big ideas for Riverfest PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 February 2017 09:23

riverfest meet ascension groupAround 50 people turned out on a damp Wednesday evening (Feb 1) at the Church of Ascension for a community meeting to plan Riverfest – a one-day festival on May 27 at Riverside Park that will celebrate the river. Listen to our audio interview with organiser Catherine Wright about the festival, the planning evening, and what happens next...


Catherine Wright and Mandi Bissett

"We were just amazed by how many people came," said Catherine Wright after the planning session, pictured left with co-organiser Mandi Bissett. "We wanted to get local people's ideas about why the river is important and how we can celebrate it."

You can listen to our interview with Catherine using the player below.

No player? Try this link

At the meeting groups brainstormed different potential strands for Riverfest, after people had pooled their individual ideas on 'What's important about the river'.

Themes surfacing ranged from health and wellbeing to sport, art, local history and "things on the river".

Big ideas

Imaginative ideas emerged around each theme: feeding back from a group focusing on arts, for example, Colin McAllister said "the ideas are enormous".

riverfestlogobig"We were going for big ideas: opening up or accessing industrial or derelict spaces; ... music in boats; art on boats; dragon boats; ... a wheel-based parade; arts markets... that might be a way to generate a small amount of income; and lots of stuff in trees; engaging the schools to make sure they're involved; a mural; graffiti; I like the idea of a big, blank wall that people can write their river stories on..."

Step up

An appeal was made for people to step up as ‘team leaders’ for particular areas – for example people have already come forward to manage publicity and stage management, but it was stressed that expertise would be welcomed in all sorts of other areas too – not least, bookkeeping!

And the need for a clean-up team for the following day was also stressed.


You make contact with Riverfest on
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Twitter: @soriverfest / #riverfest
Facebook event:

Edited 2/1/17 for slight tweak / improved quality to audio and correction of minor error

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