After celebrating another amazing Nottingham Poetry Festival and the return of the Green Hustle, festival season is in full swing here at Castle Rock.
We first sponsored the Nottingham Poetry Festival back in 2017. To celebrate World Poetry Day, we added Henry Normal’s name to our longstanding line of ales dedicated to Nottingham-bred heroes. We launched the golden mild at the Vat and Fiddle pub and Normal provided an unforgettable night of poetry and comedy. Five years on, we are delighted to continue to support the festival, and witness it go from strength to strength.
This year’s poetry festival took place from Friday 26th to Monday 29th May. Kicking off at the Fox & Grapes, Blackdrop founder Michelle ‘Mother’ Hubbard and NPF’s Ben Macpherson hosted an evening of poetry. It was fantastic to see the Fox overflowing with so much creative energy. Live performances from esteemed poets were peppered with filled open mic slots. And it didn’t stop there, but poured onto the streets, with over 30 performances, workshops and poetry events over the long weekend.
Brian Bilstone graced the Old Cold Store (adjacent the Vat and Fiddle) with not one but two sold out shows. We also had the pleasure of welcoming multi-award winning poet Yomi Sode to the Theatre Royal and Concert Hall for his Nottingham debut. Nottingham’s own GOBS Collective supported.
Over 1,000 people got involved with this year’s poetry festival, from submitting their own poems online; tearing them apart and building them back up again in workshops; attending sold out shows and even taking to the stage themselves, in open mics.
We hope everyone had an amazing time, we know we did.
A massive thank you to Nottingham Poetry Festival team for another fabulous fest! To learn more about the festival, click here.
The start of June brought with it the Green Hustle (and a weekend of beautiful sun, in what has been a questionable spring. We gather Mother Nature approved)! Born from the desire to live in a greener, healthier and more connected city, the Green Hustle is a weekend-long celebration of nature, life, creativity and the power of community.
We started the festival by joining the World of Work day. Our environment officer Freddie spent his time learning from specialists, meeting new people and learning from other local businesses’ on their own journeys to a more sustainable future. Then in the evening we headed to the Fox & Grapes for the official Opening Party. Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust kicked things off with a quiz, jointly hosted with the Green Hustle’s own Laurrie Illingworth. Featuring noises from nature and a Nottinghamshire-themed music round, the quiz was followed by an amazingly talented round of musicians. The Naked Ape kicked things off, followed by jazz and funk from Benjamin Luhis and his band!
We spent the weekend at Old Market Square, where we looked on to a city centre bursting with activity. From social eating, community kitchens and cooking workshops to foraging, fashion upcycling and live music – there was something for everyone. Over three days, Friday 2nd-Sunday 4th June, the Green Hustle served up over 750 free hot meals. It rooted a thousand plants, from trees to wildflowers. And curated over 100 events, workshops and talks brought people together to do better and feel better. (Where inclusivity, accessibility and sustainability were at the heart of everything.) Does it get much better than that? And on top of all the good times, the Green Hustle team have measured everything with the aim of working toward creating a festival that has a positive social and environmental impact.
We have been so proud to sponsor this amazing festival. Thank you to everyone involved for such a great weekend. And thanks to you lot for taking part! We hope you had a marvellous time and came away with something good. (Be it a new skill, a seed bomb, or a decent meal!)
Next up, Nottingham Craft Beer Festival!
Photos by Tom Platinum Morley – Nottingham Poetry Festival and Green Hustle’s official photographer.
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