May Day Festival of Solidarity 2017….in words and pictures.

May Day Festival of Solidarity 2017 was just incredible. Not just the music and the poetry and the speeches, but the spirit you all brought to the party which went on all weekend and lifted all involved. Here’s the story in pictures brought to you by Ferocious Photography, Paul & Lindsay Rutland, Pete Yen, John Lomas, Bob Oram and anyone I’ve missed forgive me….it has been a whirlwind.

From Tony and myself, we want to say a MASSIVE and heartfelt thank you to everyone involved in May Day Festival of Solidarity 2017 for making it such a fantastic weekend.
To The Men They Couldn’t Hang; Steve Mason; Ken Bonsall; Thee Faction; Robb Johnson; Efa Supertramp; Attila the Stockbroker; Naomi Bedford & Paul Simmonds; Calum Baird; Interrobang‽; Burning Ferns; Blyth Power; Chris T-T; Lilith Ai; April Lodge, Del Scott Miller and Jethro Platts; A Firm Of Poets; The Hurriers; Lily Gaskell; Backyard Burners; Dave Burland; Grigio and Left Ahead…..a huge thank you for first of all being ace, and secondly for sticking to stage times and being so accomodating when we had organisational issues. And a special mention for Paul Frear, Uncle Paf, who stepped in at the last moment to start the whole thing off and was the perfect way to begin. So many highlights over an amazing weekend of music and poetry as set after set hit all the right notes. Thanks everyone.

To our speakers: Sean Mcgowan for RMT; Joe Rollin for Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign; Nic Fitzpatrick for NUT; Pete Deakin for Barnsley Save Our NHS; Dave Gibson for Barnsley Trades Council; George Arthur for Freedom Riders; Fran Postlethwaite for Stand Up To Racism; and Pauline Town for WE SHALL OVERCOME …THANK YOU! You each brought your various struggles to life each giving us the REAL truth behind the headlies.

To Simon Ibbotson for top DJ skills; to our INCREDIBLE comperes who were the glue which held it all together- Jethro Platts, Matt Abbott, Sarah Courtney and John Baine; and to a gargantuan task performed with skills of the highest order on the sound desk- Marcus and Andy. THANK YOU!!!
And lastly to all you good people who came along and clapped and cheered and sang and hollered and smiled and laughed and showed us the kind of solidarity an event like this needs. The spirit in that room throughout the whole weekend was an example to all on what can be achieved when we ALL play our part in something and we all pull together for the common good. Exactly what our festival is all about. You were ace, and we couldn’t have done it without you.

There will be more photos and commentary over the coming days, and in the background Tony and myself will be working out plans for the future, but suffice to say May Day Festival of Solidarity will definitely return in 2018.

Perhaps the spirit of the festival is best summed up by this photograph. This is Scott, he is currently homeless and was brought along by Pauline Town to give him a day away from his plight. I love this shot, and I’m just so glad to be a part of a movement that can help put that smile on the face of a young man suffering more than most.

See you next year x

May Day 39 Scott

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