Born out of adversity, Campsie Fest is a sterling example of how a community can pull together to affect change. When the local council decided to shut down the Village Hall in the Milton of Campsie area of Glasgow, residents took matters into their own hands. United against the decision, they set up a trust to reclaim the hall – and founded a festival to raise funds to support it.
Now a thriving intergenerational, intercultural arts and music festival, Campsie Fest takes place twice a year in winter and spring, with the aim of promoting cultural activities for all ages. A wide range of local groups get involved, including a ceilidh band, jazz band, art club, local dancers, artists and more, often with collaborations forming between groups. All activities are offered free of charge, with small donations helping preserve the Village Hall.
“Campsie Fest encourages connection and interaction between all ages,” says volunteer Helen Kepelian. “Our volunteers can be anything from 12 to 80+ years old, and lots of performances include performers of two or more generations, coming together to play music. “There’s also an intercultural element, as many of our volunteers come from diverse cultural backgrounds. And all of our volunteers have been given the opportunity to either strengthen their artistic skills or develop a new one.”