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“ It is a different side of our industry , [ community events ] are the proper interpretation of gatherings , which all festivals stemmed from . They should absolutely be supported and celebrated .”

WINTER 21 / 22 | FEATURE

director of Manchester-based production company Engine No . 4 , which services Parklife . He says the idea for the project came eight years ago when the festival was moved to Heaton Park .
“ When it was moved , Parklife grew considerably in size ,” he says . “ Heaton Park is surrounded on three sides by residential buildings . A lot of other festivals offset some of the impact they have by giving tickets out to the local community , but we recognised that Parklife isn ’ t for everybody and we wanted to do something a little bit more meaningful .”
Drape says that since the scheme was launched five years ago it has generated more than £ 400,000 for local community groups . Around 50 groups were supported in the most recent distribution .
As well as donations from people on Parklife ’ s guest list , Drape says the event ’ s suppliers play a key role in raising funds .
“ We are very mindful that people have had it tough throughout the pandemic and a lot of these community groups haven ’ t been able to get the kind of money they normally would and so , moving forward , we are going to employ a fundraising officer who will look at new ways to raise money ,” says Drape .
In order to make it as easy as possible to access the funds , a dedicated team member not only administers the fund but goes out into the local community to talk to people to help them write applications for it .
“ It ’ s a meaningful endeavour , we want to get funds out there to more of the harder-to-reach groups ,” says Drape .
Across the UK , festival operators are looking at ways to bring benefits to the local community and , in some cases , that involves helping to fund other events .
Green Man Festival owner Fiona Stewart says : “ Wales has some very rural and remote areas where small community events do a huge amount to combat loneliness , they bring communities together . It is a different side of our industry , they are the proper interpretation of gatherings , which all festivals stemmed from . They should absolutely be supported and celebrated .”
With that in mind , The Green Man Trust was set up to fund community events and more . The Arts Council Wales-backed initiative funds projects across four core strands ; arts development , training , science engagement and positive change in Welsh communities .
Charities supported by the Trust include Oasis Cardiff , which helps refugees and asylum seekers to integrate into their new communities . Meanwhile , among the training initiatives is a partnership with Merthyr Tydfil College that enables students doing their BTEC in Creative Media Production ( Television & Film ) to take work placements at the Green Man Festival .
While there is no available overall figure for the amount of money the live events industry pumps back
“ It is a different side of our industry , [ community events ] are the proper interpretation of gatherings , which all festivals stemmed from . They should absolutely be supported and celebrated .”
- Fiona Stewart
IMAGE : JASON BRYANT
into the local community each year , all areas of the industry are making an impact , not least venue operators .
Venues The ACC Liverpool Group , which operates the Liverpool event campus – home to the 11,000-capacity M & S Bank Arena , ACC Liverpool and Exhibition Centre Liverpool – recently launched a Social Value Plan with the aim of creating
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