After two years in the festival desert, the 2022 mirage does look rather enticing.

Among the many casualties of COVID-19 and the consequent lockdowns in the UK is the Leamington Peace Festival (the LPF, in short).

For a full two years running, the festival has had to be cancelled, no doubt leading to great disappointment among those of us who look forward to it.

However, the government’s stated intention of easing restrictions in the coming months (with a tentative date of 21st June set for a full lifting of restrictions) gives me some hope.

 

Hope that we will be able to have a Leamington Peace Festival 2022.

But first…

What is the Leamington Peace Festival (for the uninitiated)?

Image courtesy http://peacefestival.org.uk/.
Image courtesy http://peacefestival.org.uk/.

The Leamington Peace Festival is one of the largest and longest running ‘free festivals’ in the United Kingdom.

First conceived as the Leamington Festival for International Understanding and Peace in 1978, it takes place

  • each year
  • during the weekend before Summer Solstice (which usually falls in the first half of June, if you haven’t been paying attention during geography lessons)
  • in the Royal Pump Room Gardens

It’s strictly a social festival, completely apolitical, but it does incorporate a few themes such as world peace, living in harmony with one another and with nature and so on.

What can festival visitors expect?

Image courtesy https://twitter.com/leampeacefest.
Image courtesy https://twitter.com/leampeacefest.

Visitors to the festivals can expect:

  • A number of family friendly activities (from kite making from recyclable materials to clown and magic shows).
  • Music events (sometimes featuring performers from abroad) and classes (like drumming lessons).
  • Healing treatments.
  • A wide variety of vegetarian food.
  • Shops selling a dazzling array of merchandise.
  • Opportunities to donate and/volunteer for various charitable causes

All amidst the convivial Leamington Spa atmosphere.

 

The entire festival is completely free to attend. It is funded by voluntary donations, mostly from stall holders, and organized by volunteers.

The Leamington Peace Festival 2019 included…

Image courtesy https://coventryobserver.co.uk/news/rain-clouds-fail-to-stop-peacemakers-coming-together-at-leamington-festival-13689/.
Image courtesy https://coventryobserver.co.uk/news/rain-clouds-fail-to-stop-peacemakers-coming-together-at-leamington-festival-13689/.

...amongst other things...

  • Performances by…
    • The RedHills
    • The Pandemonium Steel Orchestra
    • The North Leamington School pop choir
    • The Songlines choir and
    • The Stagecoach dance school
  • Workshops on…
    • Didgeridoo-playing
    • Flip juggling
    • Laughter yoga and
    • Maths busking
  • A donation counter where you can donate items from pasta sauce to toiletries, for various charities.

In addition to various food stalls, merchandise stalls and counters by local charities offering information about volunteering opportunities.

 

I think we can agree that a Leamington Peace Festival 2022 is something worth looking forward to.

Final thoughts

Image courtesy Antonio Friedemann on Unsplash.
Image courtesy Antonio Friedemann on Unsplash.

While we certainly do wish a LPF 2022 happens - and going by the government’s reopening roadmap it is very much possible - if there’s one thing this pandemic has taught us it’s to take nothing for granted.

The best way we can all work together towards making it happen - and towards getting our lives back to normal - is by following health rules and movement restrictions and getting vaccinated.

Here’s to a Leamington Peace Festival 2022 and a considerably better year ahead!

Further reading

Image courtesy Siora Photography on Unsplash.
Image courtesy Siora Photography on Unsplash.

A news report featuring images of earlier Leamington Peace Festivals inspired me to write this blog. Here’s the full report: 15 photos of Leamington Peace Festival through the years.

 

If you’re planning a trip to Leamington Spa for the festival (or just because)...

 

For up-to-date information on the Festival and/or for volunteering opportunities, you can check out the Festival’s official website.

 

If you haven’t seen or aren’t aware of the Government’s current roadmap towards reopening the UK, here’s the official February 22nd press release.

 

Banner image courtesy Aranxa Esteve on Unsplash.