The Midlands plays host to musicians from the Gambia, Rajasthan and Germany as the Leamington Peace Festival returns to the Pump Room Gardens, Leamington Spa on June 16 & 17. This is the 29th Peace Festival and the volunteers who organise it have put together a jam packed programme, starting at 11am each day. Best of it is, it's all free!
There are 2 music stages covering a plethora of musicals styles. Folk rockers Perfect visit from Germany, exceptional Gambian musician Bajaly Saso plays traditional West African songs on the kora at the bandstand, and The Babylon Ensemble bring their mix of Turkish & Arabic music to the marquee.
Funk rock trio Halagoogoo, 'destined to headline big venues' according to NME, close the marquee on Saturday night: be warned, their stage outfits have been known to include leopard print & wetsuits! In their own words: 'Halagoogoo are much like Charlie Dimmock's cleavage because they are facing in the right direction, fun, both guys and girls look at them and they are well supported.'
All the way from Rajasthan, the Jaipur Kawa Brass Band bring the colour, sights and sound of contemporary India to Leamington to close what looks set to be an amazing festival on Sunday.
Also there are some of the finest local bands such as Cooper, Two Man Ting, The Young and the Damned, festival favorites Seize the Day & East of Ealing and a whole host of rock, acoustic, world, punk and pop music.
Elsewhere on the site the programme is as colourful, vibrant, challenging, and fun packed as ever,
There are free adult workshops, including African drumming, yoga, graffiti and a chance to learn campaigning skills with Oxfam. Local students will provide displays of belly dancing, breakdance and street dance.
Children of all ages will be amazed by wandering clowns, jesters and bubblemen plus there's a chance to make kites, streamers, flags and windmills with recycled materials, and more free events throughout the weekend at the Kids Tent.
One of the festival aims is to raise awareness of world and local issues and give individuals ways of becoming involved with the world around them, so local and national campaigning groups including Amnesty, Stop the War Coalition & One World Link give short Peace talks between bands, and to find out more most groups have stalls on site. In fact there are over 130 stalls, offering information, selling interesting and unusual stock or yummy food!