Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Funding Plea for New Festival Bid Funding Plea for New Festival Bid

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Funding Plea for New Festival Bid Funding Plea for New Festival Bid

Article excerpt

Byline: Sonia Sharma Reporter sonia.sharma@trinitymirror.com

BRIT award winner Miss Dynamite is to star at an anti-racism festival on Tyneside.

Campaigners are helping to raise PS40,000 to stage the region's first, free, open-air music festival, which it's hoped will become the North East's answer to the Notting Hill Carnival.

Activists who rallied around 2,000 people to the streets against far-right group Pegida, are again drawing on people power to finance The Unity Festival - an event to celebrate cultural, social and ethnic diversity.

Sponsorship from businesses and trade unions kick-started the fundraising effort, which has been further boosted by customers at the city's World Headquarters nightclub, who have pledged thousands of pounds in loose change via collection buckets over the past few weeks. Now a gofundme page and website have been set up.

The festival will be held in Leazes Park, Newcastle, during the Bank Holiday weekend on May 23, from 1pm to 8pm.

Organisers hope this will become an annual event.

Wallsend teacher Daniel Kebede, 28, who is helping to stage it, said; "We felt there was a need for an event of this type in the city. Something which wasn't staged as a counter demonstration against racism. It is great so many people turned out and were willing to demonstrate against Pegida, and that was brilliant to see.

"We thought it would also be a good idea to put together an event that challenges division and all forms of intolerance in a proactive way, too. To put the unity back in community, so to speak.

"The event has been well-received and incredibly well-supported so far, but we still have a way to go with fundraising and still really need help.

"The festival is free because we wanted it to be open to all, with no barriers to attending. …

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