50: a festival lexicon

by Greenbelt Festival in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

We did it
On 24th May 2023 we successfully raised £38,032 ( + est. £1123.50 Gift Aid ) with 694 supporters in 35 days

We're crowdfunding a large-format hardback book for Greenbelt's 50th. The festival's story in 50 reflections and tales, poems and prayers.

by Greenbelt Festival in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

As Greenbelt Festival celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year, we are aiming to crowdfund the production costs of 50: a festival lexicon, a beautiful, large-format full-colour hardcover book, with 256 pages full of striking design, photography and graphics, all inspired by the festival's past, present and future.

50: a festival lexicon will tell the stories of Greenbelt Festival through fifty short reflections and tales, poems and prayers, each of which hangs on a single word with special resonance for the festival. The central thread of the book is a lexicon that explores the vocabulary of a festival about to enter its sixth decade. 

With contributions from dozens of thinkers and writers like Rowan Williams, Kate Bottley, Ann Pettifor, John Bell, Abdul-Rehman Malik, Pádraig Ó Tuama, Chine McDonald, Barbara Brown Taylor, Bidisha Mamata, Sister Teresa Forcades and Brian McLaren, it's our attempt to map the shape of the last fifty years and light the way for the next fifty.

Click on the image below for a free glimpse of a few of the 256 pages awaiting all the crowdfunders of our book. This sample includes Harry Baker writing about the word Home and Brian McLaren on Liminality.


Our vision for the book

We're working hard to make a book as contrary and cathartic as the festival itself. A work of art in its own right, packed with striking design and photography. We're planning to tell the story of Greenbelt by... not telling the story of Greenbelt. So don't think of it as the history of a festival, but instead as the geography of a spirituality.

Because who better to tell the story of our festival than us, its community? That's why everyone we've asked to contribute to the book has some kind of connection to this festival we all make together. Fifty different words for fifty years. Fifty different ways to see, hear and feel the festival.

We want it to feel like a symphony of voices. A polyphony. A cacophony. And we hope you'll be moved, inspired and fired up by the results. Just as you would be by the festival itself.


What will you get for your money?

We're crowdfunding to help us create a beautiful, large-format, full-colour, hardcover book that tries to bottle the essence of this festival so many of us love, and print a copy for everyone who wants one. Being one of our crowdfunders will also be the only way to guarantee your own copy.

The entry reward level is £30 (plus postage) for a copy of the book. Just like our radical new flat-pricing of tickets this year, we want to make this crowdfunder as inclusive as possible. 

We hope 50: a festival lexicon will feel like a celebration for our community as well as an open invitation to anyone else who picks it up. Because everyone's invited. Just like the festival itself.

As a crowdfunder you'll get your copy of the book delivered before the festival itself (unless you specifically want to pick it up at Boughton in August). Your name will also be printed in the book as a thank you to everyone who made it happen. The rest of it – any other rewards you choose – is entirely up to you!

We've put together some lovely stuff for those of you who might want a little more, too. Pick the reward level that suits you best, depending on what you feel willing (and able) to contribute.

Here's an example. A gorgeous illustration of the festival by artist Sarah Kirby. One of our reward tiers includes a limited edition print of this piece (40cm x 40cm, edition of 50), in addition to your copy of the book:



Why we're crowdfunding the book

Greenbelt is investing some of our own funds in the creation and design of this book, but we are crowdfunding the print run itself because, ultimately, we're festival-makers not book publishers. 

There are sound, sensible financial reasons for inviting Greenbelters to help us crowdfund the book's production. As stewards of the festival, this feels like the most responsible, sustainable way to properly mark our half-century, while ensuring we can invest as much as we can into creating a 50th anniversary festival to remember. 

This way we can make sure we gauge the level of demand for a 50th book before we decide the print run, and it gives us a better chance to make sure the project breaks even (it's not a profit-making venture). 

If you love the idea of this book and you'd like to chip in a little extra to help make it happen, please feel free! When you pick your reward you can make a separate extra donation (and add gift aid if you want to, increasing the donation by 25%) in addition to the reward you choose (which you can't gift aid).

Guarantee your copy. Be a crowdfunder.

If we're successful in crowdfunding the book like this, we can make sure that everyone who really wants one of these books can guarantee their copy in advance, as well as see their names in the finished book they helped bring to life.

If we hit our targets, we will also add a small, limited print run of the book to the number of crowdfunded copies being printed, and this small stock will be available for sale to everyone else in the G-Store at the festival. When they're gone, though, they're gone. The only way to guarantee that you don't miss out on a copy, is to join the crowdfunders.

Join the crowdfunders. Help us make it happen...


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£30 or more

The book + your name

The basic package. Guarantee your copy of the book and see your name amongst our list of crowfunders printed in your copy. Postage or pick-up from the festival will be extra.

£35 or more

The book + your name + digital edition

Keep it flexible. The book plus a digital version, you can read on any device so you can take 50: a festival lexicon with you on your travels.

£55 or more

Get one, gift one

Feeling generous? Got a friend you’d like to surprise? Get your own copy of the book, plus another copy for you to give to a lucky someone.

£55 or more

The book + limited-edition tee

The must-have fashion item. For this reward you get the book plus an exclusive limited-edition tee-shirt, featuring words from the lexicon and only available to crowdfunders. This won’t be on sale at the festival.

£180 or more

15 of 15 claimed

The book + limited-edition print

Something for the wall. This option gets you the book plus a gorgeous limited edition 40cm-by-40cm commemorative print of the festival from Sarah Kirby, one of the artists featured in the book. The print itself can be seen on our crowdfunder page. It’s a real beauty but there are only 15 available so don’t hang about!

£235 or more

10 of 10 claimed

The full works

Get the whole lot. You’d get two copies of the book and a digital edition, plus the limited edition tee-shirt AND the Sarah Kirby print. Plus our eternal gratitude of course.

Got an idea like this?

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