Chatsworth Road Festival (ChatsFest) has been a free / open to all community festival operating for the last 3 years and is entirely run by volunteers from the local community. Whilst the overall festival costs are significantly more than this crowdfunding campaign ask we are seeking top up funds to help us keep the festival FREE TO ALL. Our costs have increased through increasing council costs and our traditional funding routes have become further stretched with the current economic climate. However this is never a day for doom and gloom and is an absolute local highlight of the year. There were around 10,000 smiling faces last year, it would be a real blow to see it cancelled after so much effort to reinstate it.
We had initially sought funding from the Mayor of London's office via their SpaceHive civic funding site but despite a leading campaign we were unsuccessful. We needed this Mayoral pledge to enable us to plug the gap and allow us to invest in some long term infrastructure for the festival.
All is not lost however and the show must go on! So we have deferred our capital spending for another year, reduced some of the activities planned and moved off SpaceHive now the Mayor's funding is no longer an option, all to lower our costs. The good news is that with a much smaller amount of crowd funding we can still host a slightly expanded festival versus previous years, predominantly the addition of a new Community Stage to showcase the best of our local community (ohhh we have some talent planned for you!!), also we're adding some toilets (yes essential I'm sure you'll agree but they are expensive!!) and also an expanded children's entertainment area.
So by pulling together we will put on a festival to be proud of, funded BY the community, staffed FROM the community, entirely FOR the community to enjoy. None of the money raised pays the staff volunteers who put in many many hours through the whole year, it only funds the production of the event itself.
More about the event:
The Chatsworth Road Festival (ChatsFest) was founded in 2013 by a lifelong Clapton resident, who fondly remembered the Hackney Marsh Fun Festival (a free community festival founded in 1979) as a real highlight of the year for the neighbourhood. Each year ChatsFest has grown in ambition & participation, last year attracting over 10,000 people, from all walks of life, to come together for a day of fun and participation. The festival has become a much loved last party of the summer, a highlight of the summer holidays for families and a great opportunity to meet the neighbours and celebrate the community. Every year more people come forward with ideas to grow the event and ensure it caters to all tastes. We're convinced this year will still be the best yet with plans to involve more venues and spaces and we hope to cater for upwards of 15,000 people. Some highlights of the festival include food and drink from the area’s market traders & food producers, live music and sound systems showcasing local venues & artists, the annual Dog Show, face painting, kids entertainers, a climbing wall, boxing ring, late night after parties, workshops & inflatable fun for kids of all ages.
The best way to ensure this is a festival for everyone is by keeping it completely free to attend, then there are no financial barriers to participating. Attendance is completely free, as are all activities, whether it be sumo suit wrestling for teens, music workshops, or the dog show. Up to this point the festival has relied on the sponsorship of local small businesses to meet the costs of staging the event, with Hackney Council generously supporting with the costs of the road closure. This year, feeling the burden of local government cuts the council are unable to meet this commitment and local business are struggling to commit to the same levels as previous years. This leaves us looking for funds to make the festival happen.
We hope that you have experienced the festival in previous years or can see the value of bringing the full community together and that you are keen to support this event by pledging some of your hard earned cash to keep it free.. We are sure as a community we can pull together and put another event the whole area will be talking about for months to come!