Independent music and arts festival Underneath The Stars, run by the family production team behind folk artist Kate Rusby, has been shortlisted for the Small Festival of the Year at the National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) Awards 2019.
It’s great recognition for the family-run festival which broke all records this summer, when over 4,000 festival-goers each day enjoyed the packed line-up at this year’s not-for-profit community interest venture that brings live music, performance arts and entertainment to a cosy corner of Cinderhill Farm, Cawthorne, Barnsley from Friday 2nd – Sunday 4th August 2019.
Underneath the Stars is a non-for-profit community interest company founded on the family’s genuine passion for music and a desire to give back to their local community. Its small but mighty core team of four brought together a total of 53 music and performance artists, including headliners The Proclaimers, Billy Bragg, Kate Rusby, The Unthanks, Hope & Social, and Le Vent du Nord, and 52 independent traders. Fresh from filming the Christmas special of Gavin & Stacey, screenwriter and author Ruth Jones made a special appearance In Conversation. The festival is made possible with the support of an army of volunteers dubbed Star Helpers – this year there were 300 volunteers, and their friendly and knowledgeable approach is central to making it one of the most distinctive small festivals on the UK circuit
All profits from UTSf are fed-back back into the next event and invested in the programming, volunteers, and inviting families who could not otherwise afford to attend, hosting training workshops, and making the site more accessible for those who identify as D/deaf or disabled. It works in partnership with a range of local businesses, community and social enterprises and each year it supports a charity – 2019’s official charity partner being Yorkshire Cancer Research.
Underneath the Stars is celebrated for its welcoming atmosphere and prides itself on providing a warm, inclusive and unique experience for festival-goers of all ages, putting particular emphasis on ensuring a world-class experience for families and people with access needs. Young festival goers are fully catered for with initiatives including under sevens attending the festival for free, a wide range of family entertainment including arts, crafts, circus and storytelling workshops, and facilities including a boobs and bums tent for feeding and changing babies. For audiences who identify as D/deaf and disabled, access provision includes a seated main stage tent, access campsite and parking, a Mobiloo accessible toilet, personal assistant passes and a dedicated access and safeguarding officer who is available on site and in advance of the festival to oversee requirements.
Festival director Emma Holling says, “We’re absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted for the prestigious award of Small Festival of the Year and would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who contributed to the overwhelming success of our sixth Underneath the Stars festival. It has been wonderful to welcome friends old and new to our little corner of Yorkshire and the feedback has been simply remarkable. Tickets are already on sale for an even bigger and better 2020 Underneath the Stars festival and we’ll be announcing details of the lineup very soon.”
The prestigious awards will be held at the Roman Baths and Pump Rooms, Bath on 27 November 2019 run by NOEA, the UKs leading outdoor events and trade association, representing outdoor event professionals across government, business and through specialised areas such as policing and local government policy.