What's new at GB07
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Date: August 2007


 

'This year, the site changes have made a great difference, with lots of venues and features really clicking into place.'

 

Lev Eakins looks at what's new and improved at this year's festival

Bathed in glorious sunshine, the lucky punters here at the 34 th Greenbelt are soaking up the sort of rays we have been praying for all summer - and what a festival to be at!

This year, the site changes have made a great difference, with lots of venues and features really clicking into place.

Since moving to Cheltenham, GB has always sat slightly awkwardly, and even after many venues shifted onto the racecourse for better access, things weren’t always quite right.

The Performance Café suffered especially last year, getting to the main stage was a mission and the central walkway has always brought new meaning to the saying “take the narrow path”.

All these have now changed with better access, wider walkways and the beloved Performance Café now given the location and layout it has dearly deserved.

Deep in the bowels of GB towers the lonely figure that insisted on these changes deserves a promotion – or at a mention in dispatches.

Turning to a serious matter now – the Organic Beer Tent. It is certainly bigger and better, but uncontent with the rather descriptive name it has been re-branded the “Jesus Arms”.

Is this supposed to be ironic? Deep in the bowels of GB towers a lonely figure needs to be taken outside and castigated. Why not “The Kings Arms” or “The Church Inn”? Surely something can be done about this?!

Notable

A notable addition this year is the Literary and Arts hub – simply known as “The Hub”. The venue, conveniently located next to the newly moved ‘Tiny Tea Tent’, is a reasonable start, and I dare say it will be given a better one should it be as successful as it promises to be. It has a bohemian edge to it with a deliciously creative programme.

Although the theme this year is “Heaven in Ordinary” (perhaps a nod to “Sacred in the mundane” theology championed by parts of the emerging church), it would be easy to believe it is ‘Stop Climate Change’.

The green agenda, always close to centre of the festival, has well and truly penetrated the heart with Christian Aid’s focus on Trade Justice now moving in a Anti-Climate Change vehicle. In every direction you will find examples of groups and activists recruiting the masses into further action.

Finally, I cannot end before mentioning a back-flipping, head-twirling, arm snaking gem of an act! Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you, all the way from central Asia – the Tajikistan break-dancers (pictured above)!!

Apart from the outstanding performance laid on by these three young Tajik guys, we were told their mission work teaching underprivileged children to break-dance in their homeland has brought great joy to the lives of many hundreds of kids and their families. Good on you lads!

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