Excitement builds as Festival of Thrift approaches its online premiere

Fans of the Festival of Thrift are getting ready to sing, dance and show off  their thrifty skills  at home, work or wherever they are as the 2020 event gets set to hit screens as ‘Thriftfest Upcycled’ on Saturday 12 September.

In its first ever online-only outing, the national celebration of sustainable living is providing a brilliant day long virtual event offering 13 activities, 10 workshops, 6 talks, 4 demonstrations and one beautiful moment.

The audience can get involved right from the outset as the day’s packed live stream gets underway with a stirring anthem and animation created especially for the occasion, followed by the unveiling of One Beautiful Moment – a socially distanced dance piece, I Move the Air by Linzy Na Nakorn and Alice Phelps, performed in front of the striking landscape and offshore wind turbines of Redcar seafront.


A face familiar to regular Festival of Thrift-goers, Ringmaster and event MC Paulus, will then guide people through an energetic on-screen schedule where they can opt to listen to soothing tales of wit and wisdom, spot clouds, release their inner dandy, create an energy superhero, make amazing sounds with broken tech, marvel at circus skills, watch a live fix-along, learn some sign language, join a poetry sisterhood, learn how to grow your own, join a jazz concert for under 5s, buy sustainable goods from independent traders and be part of creating one perfect day.

Alongside the live stream a series of free online talks and debates on some the biggest sustainable issues of the day, ranging from green energy and fixing the food chain to how young people can take action to tackle the climate emergency, is scheduled, including speakers from Lush, Olio, Greenpeace, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Extinction Rebellion.

Viewers will also be given a peek into what happened when a street in a secret location came together to thrift their place , celebrating its very own mini Festival of Thrift in a hyper-local event that included a Street is the Menu socially distanced meal, a parade and an architect-designed sustainable welcome pavilion.

Throughout the day people across Redcar and Cleveland who have thrifted their place will also be visited by Zetland FM’s Julie Donaldson in  the Thriftmobile, sporting  an unmissable energy-themed installation made from old bicycle wheels and scrap materials created by Whippet Up.

Festival of Thrift director, Stella Hall said: “Our festival is all about coming together and having fun and, although it’s very sad that we’re not able to do that physically this year, our digital edition is packed full of fabulous content. We defy any family not to find something to do!”

In keeping with its thrifty theme, the festival of Thrift was rebranded as Thriftfest Upcycled earlier this year for its 2020 outing, after its annual large-scale event that attracts over 40,000 visitors had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers worked to repurpose the event to enable festival-goers to re-create elements of the fun of the festival at home and thousands of the festival’s ‘Thrift Your Place’ online activity packs have been downloaded across the UK,  or distributed to communities local to the festival’s Redcar home ahead of the 12 September live event.

The programme and booking details for the Thriftfest Upcycled the Digital Edition on 12 September are available at www.festivalofthrift.co.uk

The following organisations are partners and supporters of the 2020 Festival of Thrift Community Interest Company and its ongoing work. The company is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and enabled through a partnership with Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council together with County Durham Community Foundation, Tees Valley Nature Partnership and The Northern School of Art.

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