Ever been to a festival and not known who to talk to, or where to be? I recommend running a Transition stall, and lots of people come and talk to you.
Last month Gary, Lesley, Tom and Chris relaxed over a stall at Harlequin Fayre and met lots of lovely, active and interested people, some of them new to the idea of Transition. Our visitors included Transition Ipswich, Greentech from Cambridge, and Rossport Solidarity Campaign, who are fighting Shell’s efforts to run a pipeline through their bay, farms and village. They have been nicknamed the Bogoni by Nigerians fighting the same battle, against an even higher level of violence, corruption and company impunity. Three guesses where we might go for next year’s summer holiday.
On Sunday Gary and Lesley ran a workshop where 12 people talking to each other came up with some great ideas such as incentivise organic farming, taxing virgin raw materials (but not recycled stuff), closing Sizewell nuclear power station, opening wind farm and hemp and nettle clothing factory.
Reviewing 20 years backwards from 2030, for a our headlines included a bumper walnut crop spelling boost for Downham Market pound, a community vote for compost toilets, a bus service for every village, solar panels on all roofs combining with insulation to make heating unnecessary. We also had a cycle highway opening and motorway closing, an investigation into Parish council corruption and 'Massingham eco-flats completed for flood refugees'
Harlequin Fayre itself was exemplary low impact fun - a gathering centred on the green ethos, and a continuation of a long tradition of colourful events, such as the Albion Fayres. In East Anglia it seemed that the best way to attend the "dream event" was to create it - this was a long time coming. Harlequin Fayre will never be a large "music festival". Instead we have a small, magical and interesting weekend, with vibrant people and colour, safe for kids and still brilliant for the rest of us.
The tickets were priced to keep it as affordable as it's possible to be and to try and reach the very challenging 90% waste recycling rate through the involvement of Bright Green. The stalls were ethical, organic, and where possible, local. A lift share facility was made available.
This weekend there are two fairs: the Greenpeace Fair and Burston on 5th September, and a chance to network with Trade Unions and others. This is a great day out if you like live music, comedy and excellent speakers like Tony Benn.
Bus details for Burston: Departure from Yarmouth bus station 9.30am.Pick up at Norwich rail station 10.15am Pick up outside John Lewis 10.20am Arrival approx 11am Burston.Return 4.30 pm (same route).The cost has been footed initially by GYTUC but donations obviously welcome from any branches. Cheques payable to Great Yarmouth and District Trades Council via Secretary Alan Stewart at 22 Marsh Farm, Mill road, Cobholm, Great Yarmouth. To book a place, email Alan Stewart: email@example.com
Photos: Transition East stalls at Harlequin Fayre and the Greenpeace Celebration Gig, 2010.