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21-22 SEP 24

Championing Local & Vocal

by David Urry (Programmer, Local & Vocal Stage)

Since 2022 the Festival has established a vibrant, lively corner of the castle grounds dedicated to all things ‘local’.  Away from the larger dome, under a beautiful canopy, lies the Local and Vocal stage; a more intimate space, decorated with fairy lights and giant shimmering fish! It is a space for engaging stories and discussions, championing local producers, growers, businesses and creatives, filled with conversations helping us better understand our local food and how to produce a healthy, prosperous, just and sustainable food system

The reputation and success of the Festival, which it has established over the years, means it draws some of the biggest names in food to its programme and attracts visitors from far and wide. The Festival’s roots however, lie in a desire to support and promote local food, helping solve issues relevant to local producers and food businesses. This has remained an important part of the Festival, and the Local & Vocal Tent is an expression of its continued commitment. 

It has been a joy and privilege to help programme and develop the Local and Vocal stage, trying to find a balance between the serious and the silly, environmental and cultural, celebratory and cerebral. Each year it continues to grow, building on themes and ideas, while trying to introduce something new. We’ve covered food security, regenerative farming, local food history, heritage seeds and crops, local food systems, stories, song, poetry and even a slice of punk! 

This year’s programme is just as diverse, and most importantly, has involved the local community more than ever before, working directly with local organizations, authorities, schools, and of course producers, growers and businesses to create perhaps our best programme yet. 

Look out for foraged lunches, storytelling, music, a Welsh Garden Kitchen Question time, our first full Welsh language session (with translation), and discussions on a wide range of issues, from ‘pasture fed meat’ to ‘access to land’, ‘homes for growers’ to ‘school meals’. 

You can find more details of the full Local & Vocal programme here