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Youth Forum help run Village Green festival

21st June 2019
Posted by Johnny Jenkins

Village Green has been lucky enough to have had the support of a group of young volunteers this year. More than 40 young people from across Southend were recruited by Metal who run Village Green to be part of the Youth Forum. They have given their time to help shape the festival and ensure its appeal for all ages.

Since February, the Youth Forum has met monthly to look at all aspects of staging an outdoor festival. They have contributed ideas for the development and design of Village Green and helped with promotion. Workshops on technical specifications and requirements of staging, lighting and sound have given them a clear understanding of the huge amount of work that goes into an event such as Village Green. Professionals from the industry worked with the Youth Forum to explain how to meet artists and sponsors requirements and create a festival setting in line with branding specifications.

On 13th July, at Village Green, members of the Youth Forum will work in various festival roles. A team will be on digital and social media platforms to report live as the fun takes place and other will be involved as part of the production crew on the Oak Stage. This stage has been designed and developed by the Youth Forum in workshops over the past few months. The Youth Forum has also programmed the stage and several Youth Forum members will play on the stage.

Chloe Payne is a member of the Youth Forum. She said

“The youth forum is a group of young people who have been working together and have organised our own stage for Village Green. This included deciding the theme for our stage and designing and decorating props to match this, deciding who plays on the stage on the day and promoting our forum and stage as well as the festival as a whole on social media. We will be working on different aspects of the stage and the festival on the day, whether that is with the sound and technical side or artist liaison and stage management and many other job roles.”

Being part of the Youth Forum has offered the young people the opportunity to learn about working with and supporting their like-minded peers, gain insight from industry professionals and inspiration for new ideas, learn new skills, and get experience in production and performance.

Esme Taylor’s daughter Scarlett has been part of the Youth Forum and said:

“I love what Metal have been working on and want to thank them for this experience. It really helps the children so much with college applications etc. Scarlett recently got a place at The Brit School and in her interview she spoke about the work she is doing with Metal. I’m sure it helped her get her place!”

Youth involvement has been key to much of the planning for Village Green this year. As well as the Youth Forum there are almost 100 volunteers working across the festival in all kinds of roles. Many of the young people who have worked as volunteers on previous Village Green festivals return year after year and several have gone on to careers in the live events industry.

As well as performances and organisation by young people, there are young artists on display too. Alfie Winters is a student at Belfairs Academy and has just been had his photography on display as part of the Leigh Art Trail at the June store. He will be bringing his work to Village Green and showing it in the Silent Disco area, as part of a small exhibition next to Brave 1.

Tickets for Village Green are on sale now. As in previous years, 500 free tickets are available to holders of Southend Council’s Advantage Card C. These can be picked up from the Southend Borough Council reception – just have your Advantage Card C ready to show.

Win your ticket to Village Green festival in our competition, just click here.

Image: Village Green/Metal