A heartfelt welcome for the proposed Marlborough Festival

Written by Jo Carroll.


I doubt if I’m the only one who watched the hoo-ha surrounding the Jazz Festival and the road closures with increasing dismay. It seemed to me – from my sideline – as if neither side was listening to the other, and so positions became more entrenched and compromise impossible.

But from this impasse has sprung something rather wonderful: plans for a new Music Festival that builds on the work of its Jazz predecessor but includes folk, blues, rock, and world music.

There will be food from near and far. Retailers will be invited to join in the party. The idea is to construct a festival that appeals to everyone – and particularly to families.

In case you missed it, you can find out more about it here.

What a great opportunity for the town to embrace some new ideas.  I’ve been grumbling in recent columns about the lack of welcome given to children and young people in the town.

But here is an opportunity for their needs and interests to be taken seriously.  We can use our open spaces ingeniously – for music and street theatres and creative arts.

My imagination is running away with me now…   I can visualise young people dancing their socks off at one end of the High Street while small children are painting on the pavement at the other.

There may be those who are quietly horrified at such thoughts.  And maybe dancing and painting in the High Street is a little undignified. But it is also exciting, and risky, and provides an opportunity for all of us to enjoy the enthusiasm and creativity of our young people.

They are, after all, our future.  And this festival gives them a platform. I’m looking forward to it already!

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