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  • School in a Bag 12:42 pm on June 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Music, , , , ,   

    SIAB ‘Blog in a Bag’ No. 23: Home Farm Fest Charity Music Festival Blown Away by the Success! 

    Home Farm Fest, the charity music festival we hold at our School in a Bag HQ in Chilthorne Domer, Somerset and the biggest annual fundraiser for the charity, has once again smashed its previous year’s fundraising total coming in at just over £72,700 – even if the windy conditions tried its hardest to scupper the music! 

    Last year’s festival raised £60,000 so the upward trend of raising more each year for School in a Bag continues – and it has now raised a total of over £325,000 in its 12 year history.

    This year again a few changes were made to the layout of the festival site, even introducing a sixth main stage, the Anderson Dance Tent, as well as a smaller Busk Stop on the new Village Green area. There was also the introduction of e-ticketing, and one of the most sort after items, the plastic Collector’s Cup – a pint-sized special edition Home Farm Fest 12 cup which allowed for refilling, which had sold out by Saturday lunchtime! These alongside the e-tickets, helped reduce the amount of paper and waste used during the festival.

    Once again there was an international football match, England v Scotland World Cup Qualifier, which was shown to an enthusiastic crowd shown on the big screen, the ever-popular Silent Disco was back with the introduction of a children’s one as well which went down very well, and thanks to Steve at Yeovil Press, there was even the first edition of Home Farm Fest Press – a brilliant round-up of what was on including interviews with some of the bands!

    With the changes from last year and the growth in popularity of Home Farm Fest, numbers were also higher over the weekend, including the most ever amount of caravans, camper vans and tents! Not only that, but with the seven stages in total, there were 139 different acts on over the weekend – 43 more than last year and a 45% increase on the amount of music and other acts on offer!

    Luke Simon, Founder & CEO of School in a Bag and Home Farm Fest organiser, said: “Once again we are bowled over by the festival’s success and how much it has raised! We watched as the ticket orders came in, and surpassed last year’s by a considerable amount. In my role as one of the Poo Patrol team, although it may not seem a glamorous job, it does mean I get to see the whole site regularly, and also chat to festival goers, traders and volunteers alike and the feedback we get each year is just brilliant – I still find it hard to believe just 12 years ago it was one stage with three bands over one evening!”

    Zoë Fox, Events & Marketing Manager for School in a Bag and Home Farm Fest Organiser said: “We did have a testing time on the Saturday afternoon with gusts of wind reaching up to 46mph that meant halting proceedings on our main stage for an hour and a half, but thanks to a lot of teamwork, the bands affected being amazing, and the wind finally subsiding, we were back on track!

    Adding: “With the festival getting bigger, it means relying on more and more volunteers and we are so lucky to have such a brilliant team who help from setting everything up, being here over the festival weekend and then helping tidy up afterwards. We’re only a small team who run the charity and organise the festival, so we are truly grateful for all the help we receive. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helps, from all the musicians who play for free, the sound engineers and stage managers, PlayArt who give up their time to help entertain all the children, the bar staff for pulling more pints than ever before, and the huge number of other volunteers as all this effort amounts to thousands being raised for School in a Bag.”

    Planning has already begun for Home Farm Fest 13 and it’s hoped that the upward trend will still continue in the forthcoming years – especially with no Glastonbury Festival next year, who knows where locals especially will turn to instead… For now though, School in a Bag is able to prosper from the gain and put it towards helping even more children gain an education through its SchoolBag initiative.

    A few photos from the weekend to relive the festival if you were there, or whet your appetite for next year – dates are 8th-10th June 2018 :)

    CREDIT - Zoë Fox SIAB 64

    Some of the HFF volunteers and staff

    CREDIT - Zoë Fox SIAB 57

    Reading the first Home Farm Fest Press

    CREDIT - Zoë Fox SIAB 62

    Luke (SIAB FOUNDER & CEO) with 360 view

    CREDIT - Zoë Fox SIAB 39

    Crowd having fun at The Domer stage

    CREDIT - Zoë Fox SIAB 51

    Snakebyte rocking the Dutch Barn

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    All ages having fun at this year’s festival

    CREDIT - CuriousByGeorgePhotography 110

    Posh Wears and Wellies on the Friday night

    CREDIT - CuriousByGeorgePhotography 51

    Awesome HFF volunteers in the shop

    CREDIT - Zoë Fox SIAB 1

    Crimson on Silver headlining Saturday on The Domer

    CREDIT - Zoë Fox SIAB 12

    Snakebyte v The Village People!

    CREDIT - CuriousByGeorgePhotography 203

    Afternoon fun on the Dutch Barn

    CREDIT - Zoë Fox SIAB 52

    The Domer with its new effects this year

     

     

    CREDIT - Zoë Fox SIAB 23

    A snake on a SchoolBag – there’s something new!

    CREDIT - Zoë Fox SIAB 5

    Michael Garrett on The Folkroom stage

     

     

     

    CREDIT - Zoë Fox SIAB 32

    Our SchoolBaguitar – did you take a photo here?!

     
  • School in a Bag 9:27 am on April 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , line-up, Music, , , , ,   

    SIAB ‘Blog in a Bag’ No. 22: Our Charity Festival and what it means to us 

    Running a charity is hard. You’re constantly trying to come up with new ways to fundraise and capture the imagination of people to part with their hard earned cash. 2006 saw the first Piers Simon Concert, held in memory of Piers on the family farm where the charity is still based. It was in collaboration with popular Yeovil band Storm and there were three bands on one stage during one afternoon/evening – it raised £8,500. Skip 10 more festivals and over £253,000 raised and we’ve now a three day festival, Home Farm Fest, with 6 stages and over 120 bands playing – quite a difference!

    Home Farm Fest has become School in a Bag‘s biggest annual fundraiser. In the last three years alone it has gone from raising £24,000 in 2014 to £46,000 in 2015 and £60,000 last year. The growth is due to a rise in popularity both of musicians wanting to perform, but also people wanting to come along. It’s a very cheap festival (only £45 for an adult Weekender ticket this year), has great music across the 6 stages as well as a large Children’s Area, a Market Area, lots of individual attractions and some great drinking establishments!

    This year’s line-up of musicians is by far our biggest to date, and doesn’t even include our new Busk Stop in our Village Green area that will have people playing all weekend too, in fact not just singers but poets, spoken word and dancers. It’s really exciting to be a part of the development and know that we can fundraise through a completely different way to the more common bike rides, marathons and such like – not that we’re belittling these at all because they are all huge achievements often putting people way out of their comfort zone where as Home Farm Fest is a way for families and friends to come together to enjoy a weekend of good music and fun, yet still raise money for charity.

    We’ve also developed in other ways this year – we’ve introduced e-ticketing which will save us a LOT of money on postage, we’ve getting durable plastic Collectors’ pint cups that will have this year’s Home Farm Fest logo on and help us with our mission of being more green as there will be less waste. We’ve got a new one-way entrance and exit to the festival to alleviate a natural bottleneck we have on-site, but also to help with the flow of traffic and noise in the village. Basically, it’s growing.

    We’re still in our infancy though and as a core team of only four who run both the charity and the festival, it can get pretty crazy at times! We have a fantastic committee of people who help out with running certain areas of the festival and take it on-board in their own spare time, for free. Without them we simply wouldn’t have the manpower to do it all and the festival, and therefore the amount raised would suffer. We also have incredible support from local businesses who donate huge amounts to us: stages, lighting, sound equipment, toilets, marquees, generators, etc etc that means we can get spend to  minimum and profits high. We are so very grateful for all of this time and effort that’s poured into the festival so a BIG thank you to all concerned.

    So back to this year and the music. Here are all the musicians who are performing over the three days and the stages they’re on:Home Farm Fest 12 line-up

     

    If you’d like to come and join in with this year’s festival, tickets can be bought via our website: http://www.homefarmfest.co.uk – we hope to see you in 6 weeks time, 9th-11th June!

    Thanks,

    The School in a Bag and Home Farm Fest team

     
  • School in a Bag 4:29 pm on July 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Families, Family, , , Music, , ,   

    SIAB ‘Blog in a Bag’ No. 16: Home Farm Fest 11 raises the roof – and a whole lot more! 

    This month’s blog is all about Home Farm Fest and just what a cracking year we had, breaking all previous records for the amount we raised! Thank you to all of you who came along either as punters or as volunteers and if you couldn’t make it this year, we hope you can make it next year – 9th-11th June 2017!

    Charity Festival is a Record Breaker Once Again!

    Home Farm Fest, the charity music festival held in Chilthorne Domer and the biggest annual fundraiser for the charity School in a Bag, has once again smashed its previous year’s fundraising total coming in at just over £60,000!

    Last year’s festival raised £46,666, an enormous leap from 2014’s £27,418, therefore rising over £32,500 in just two years – and it has now raised a total of over a quarter of a million pounds in its 11 year history.

    This year the festival organisers decided to make a few changes to the layout and introduce a fifth stage which all worked very well, allowing a bigger spread of people over the festival site. The England v Russia Euros football match was also shown on the big screen, cream teas were served amongst a plethora of Union flags and red, white and blue décor in the Tea Tent – where many of the ladies serving even wore tiaras, to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday, and the festival had its first silent disco and dodgems. Definitely a bumper year in more ways than one!

    These changes, plus the continuation of more and more people coming back each year and bringing new people with them, has seen a rise in numbers by nearly 1000 people in the past two years. With the new stage, there were also 96 performances over the three days compared to 71 last year which is almost a 25% rise on the amount of music and other acts on offer.

    Luke Simon, Founder & CEO of School in a Bag and Home Farm Fest organiser, said: “This year took us by surprise once again! Our ticket sales far exceeded any previous year in the lead-up to the festival and we couldn’t believe just how far some people are travelling for it now as it used to be very much a locals thing. There was a big Cornish contingency and having spoken to one man to ask how he’d heard about Home Farm Fest, he said he’d found it after searching for family festivals on the web, come across us and will definitely be back next year, which is great!

    He adds: “With the festival getting bigger, it means relying on more and more volunteers and we are so lucky to have such a brilliant team who help from setting everything up, being here over the festival weekend and then helping tidy up afterwards. We’re only a small team who run the charity and organise the festival, so we are truly grateful for all the help we receive. Once again I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helps, from all the bands who play for free, the sound engineers and stage managers, Play Art who give up their time to help entertain all the children, and the huge number of volunteers as all this effort amounts to thousands being raised for School in a Bag.”

    Planning for Home Farm Fest 12 (9th-11th June 2017) is already underway and although there won’t be big changes like there were this year, it’s hoped that the upward trend will still continue in the forthcoming years. For now though, School in a Bag is able to prosper from the gain and put it towards helping even more children gain an education through its SchoolBag initiative.

    Have a look a look at the photos below for a round-up of the festival :)

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    School in a Bag and Home Farm Fest team from L-R: Luke Simon, Lis Foy, Charlotte Pike, Zoë Fox

    HFF11 vols

    HFF11 volunteers! (some of!)

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    The Domer – our new stage for this year!

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    A merry gang in their Posh Wears and Wellies for the Friday night

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    Stage backdrop

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    Singing from The Domer stage

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    Cool kids!

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    Climbing the dizzy heights of the Festival

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    Hula!

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    Two of our fab bar staff!

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    Our wedding couple after they’d just got back from their ceremony :)

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    Dodgem fun!

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    Enjoying the festival

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    Three scary people!

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    Some of the wedding party with the Groom

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    Some of the wonderful Tea Tent volunteers!

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    Framed!

     
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