Festival highlights South Yorkshire parks’ value to community

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A new music and arts festival will highlight the value of the city’s parks to their local communities.

The RiteTrax on the Bole Hills community festival at Crookes is being staged on Saturday August 6.

The free one-day event in the park features local bands, art and poetry plus a market for independent traders to showcase their products.

Crookes and Crosspool Labour Party city councillors Anne Murphy and Craig Gamble Pugh are backing the festival and say it highlights the value of parks like the Bole Hills.

“We’re hoping by working with RiteTrax and having a new community festival we are going to draw in thousands of people who might not have thought of visiting Bole Hills Park and encourage them to come back and use it in the future,” said Coun Gamble Pugh.”

“Sheffield’s parks are an asset to the city – offering great spaces that can be used for so many events. Across the city the Labour-run council is really committed to protecting parks and green spaces and that’s tough to do because of Government budget cuts, so initiatives like this will encourage more use of parks.”

RiteTrax is a social enterprise which aims to offer sustainable and accessible platforms for artists, independent businesses and entrepreneurs.

Organisers of the Bole Hills event Joe Gaughan, Adam Seymour and Michael Thompson are promising a day of music and fun for all ages. They are working with the city council and Crookes Forum.

The trio believe they have the mix right with a music line-up including the Fentonville Street Band, Emily J plus DJs.

“It’s a bit of everything, we are trying to present every medium of creativity that you can think of,” said Joe Gaughan.

“Whether that’s spoken word, acoustic music, electric, pop bands to businesses that are sole traders and would normally not have an opportunity to sell their work at a festival because of the cost. It gives people a chance to share their creativity.”

Coun Murphy said: “The festival is a great way to show what the Boles Hills Park offers the community.

“Lots of local shops will have stalls at the festival which is good for local economy. It’s a chance to showcase Crookes as a fantastic place.”

A full update on festival line up is on the RiteTrax facebook page and their website. Supporters can also help crowdfund the festival at http://www.gofundme.com/ritetrax

Michael Thompson added: “This is for everyone, every age – one of our acts is an elderly gentleman who usually plays piano on the (Sheffield) Railway Station. We have built a band around him and he’ll be playing at the Bole Hills.

“It’s a festival for the community. There’s lots of different things, arts stalls, charity stalls and children’s entertainment, art workshops – something for everyone.”