Hopefest: A Festival of Hope

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20200319_152946The world needs more hope right now, so Fairyality joined forces with the Varks to create a festival of hope on Saturday 21st March to launch Hopefest: a new virtual online festival that only stops when we stop needing hope.


HopeFest is an online festival of creativity & hope on Twitter and Facebook raising funds for Trussell Trust, Mind, Remap UK and Woodland Trust.

It started on 21st March – just follow the #HopeFest tag to catch up – and if you want to see  how it all began, follow GrowEatGift and Sue Archer.

Join in with #MakersHour Wednesdays 8-9pm too – that’s how the collaboration first started. It’s a fun way to share things you’ve made and chat to other makers too.

HopeFest ends when we stop needing hope.

It’s only open to disabled and chronically ill people from 7am until 3pm every day so all activity is disability and chronic pain focussed, with wellbeing tips and story-sharing.

At 3pm, it is open to all. Tell all your friends. Bring hope. Use the hashtag to help hope grow.

After dark  gets racier with cabaret, and darker with death talk but by day, there’s lots of creative fun for children and adults alike – look out for #FieldsOfFun to find child-friendly content quickly (opening imminently).

Expect music, comedy, cabaret, creativity, crafting ideas, coping tips, festival food, folklore, plantlore, poetry, dance, meditation, books, science, singalongs, storytelling around the fire, nature fun, #STAMEN education (STEM + art and nature), poetry, history, play, prizes, education and above all, hope.

There are sure to be surprises too. If you want to join in, you can:

  • Dress up in festival clothes, make a picnic in your living room or garden and share a photo of yourself – and your cuddly toys or pets – enjoying #HopeFest. There will be prizes for the best fancy dress and best dressed pet/toy. Bonus points for sharing how you made it – and even more bonus points for choosing Arts and Crafts, book, science, eco, hope or artist inspired cosplay. Using recycled materials will be rewarded too.
  • Share a recycled crafting, upcycling or make-do-and-mending idea in the crafting tent – and tweet along with HopeFest’s collaborative crafts, sharing your creations.
  • Share an easy experiment that can be done at home without spending lots of money on materials, in the Science Tent. Hopeful and funny science tips , papers and videos welcome too, from posters to Dance My PhD films. Science of utopia, calm and pain relief particularly welcome.
  • Decorate your space with fairy lights and home made decor, from bunting to paper flowers, Christmas tree decorations to a cheese grater with a torch in it to cast stars over your surroundings. Join the festival mood.
  • Create a #HappySongs or #MindfulMusic playlist to share. (Check out Calm.com and MindCandy.com for many free mindfulness resources too
  • Share links to hopeful books you’ve written or recommend a book you love for the hope it brings in the Books Tent. Authors who have had tours cancelled- why not do a video reading instead, and share it in this tent? Rare book dealers and indie bookstores – share your most hopeful books. Utopian fiction activity encouraged. Competitions are welcomed too – tag #HopeFest so I can retweet it.
  • Suggest a hopeful act who should perform at HopeFest on Twitter, in the open mic music or comedy tents. Add your music or comedy clips (and Patreon links) to the appropriate tents. Call outs will be given to announce open mic slots but feel free to share at any time tagging #Hopefest.
  • Make a video of a poem you love or have written (as suggested and started by Mat Ricardo with a beautiful poetry reading) to share in the poetry tent. Written or illustrated poems are welcome here too. Or join in with collaborative poetry. Feel free to start a collaborative poem of your own too.
  • Share a nature photo, video or picture and swap nature facts, talks and articles in the nature tent. Forest skill sharing and nature crafting ideas welcome too – particularly collaborative outdoor arts so people can share art in public without meeting up.
  • Try meditation, self-care rituals, storecupboard toiletry and cleaning product making, therapeutic song, grounding rituals or self massage techniques on the wellbeing stage (no snake oil or pyramid selling. Plantlore and ancient wisdom, on the other hand, is actively encouraged)
  • Share a story you’ve written, classic folklore, story-inspiring images and videos, and storytelling tips, to share around the Storytelling Fire, or record a storytelling video for the children’s tent. Hopeful bedtime stories for adults and children are very welcome too. More Gothic/darker stories welcomed after dark but must have hope at their core.
  • Write about hope in the Writers’ Tent, and share writing competitions, tips, techniques and opportunities. Meet other writers and help each other find an audience.
  • Share art you love in the HopeFest gallery.
  • Share a tin can recipe, a bare-cupboard baking idea or zero waste recipes/sensible storecupboard guides in the Food Tent. Restaurants, cafes and independent and artisan food and drink brands offering support/discounts/in need of help are welcome to share links and promote themselves here too.
  • Share art inspired by #HopeFest, from Baby Dragon to the  Varks. Images of your utopia are welcome too – as are utopian 6 word stories, which will be turned into a collaborative art piece.
  • Design a Hopefest poster ahead of the event to help Fairyality promote Hopefest and raise more money for charity. Please share their links too.
  • Support artists, makers and small businesses in the Goblin Market. Eco and home made brands only. The Goblin Market is a place designed to support small and ethical businesses. Buy cards to write lovely letters, crafting trays to fill time with fun, festival clothes, art galore and magical, occasionally tasty surprises. Offering discounts for Hopefest or sharing part of tour sales with charities is actively encouraged.

There’s lots more bubbling away. Contact me via GrowEatGift on Twitter if you would like your own tent.

Escape reality and join Fairyality and the Varks at #HopeFest, on Twitter. Don’t forget your loo roll.


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