The past year has seen many events cancelled or postponed. The pandemic has separated us and prevented us from partaking in the joint experiences that interrupt our everyday life. Now restrictions have been lifted, All in The Mind Festival, a leading outdoor mental health arts festival in Basingstoke is once again opening for in-person attendance on Saturday 11th of September.
All in The Mind Festival is returning for its sixth year after being an online event last year due to the pandemic. The festival will be based in Glebe Gardens in Basingstoke, Hampshire.
The return to its in-person format was announced with a public performance of ‘This Place’, a collaboration between the company that originally started the festival, Fluid Motion Theatre Company and another local dance theatre, Zoie Logic Dance Theatre.
What can you expect from All in The Mind Festival?
The festival itself is family friendly, offering people of all age’s performances of dance, music, spoken word and theatre. Most importantly the festival is an opportunity to celebrate how the arts can improve mental health. All in The Mind Festival provides artists and attendees a safe space to experience new things, try out new and innovative ideas and come together as a community – which is something we have been stripped of for the past year.
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Artistic Director of the festival, Leigh Johnstone said: “The last 18 months have been challenging for all of us and it’s so important that we take part in events again that make us happy. A lack of human contact can have a detrimental on people’s mental health and wellbeing, so the team have been working hard to able to host the festival in person again this year, it fits perfectly with the reason we started All in the Mind in 2016.”
Johnstone also spoke about what attendees can expect from this year’s festival: “Whether it’s a theatre performance, dance, poetry, music, visual art or crafts every one of our acts has been chosen to make you feel good, to improve your wellbeing. This year we have five different areas for visitors to explore and we’ve expanded our line up to include much more for families and children, with shows and making activities that youngsters can get involved in. Poor mental health affects people of all ages and everyone needs an opportunity right now to get outside and do something positive. We are creating a safe and relaxed space for people to spend time together, be inspired and be entertained.”
Fluid Motion launched a crowdfunding campaign last year to raise vital funds to ensure that the festival could continue in person. All in The Mind Festival has also been supported by Arts Council England, who made an amazing contribution of £48,219 as well as Hampshire County Council who gave almost £3000 towards making the event in-person and even better.
Festivals speak to an ancient desire in humans to have a shared experience. Mental health and wellbeing is something we all share and so it makes sense that the festival environment could provide the perfect opportunity to explore this.
As Johnstone pointed out, we have had such a huge lack of human contact this past year, which has inevitably impacted our mental health as a nation; what better reason to come back together than a festival that explores this impact and can begin to heal?
The full line-up of the festival will be announced over the next month, you can find out the current line-up and more about All in The Mind as well as register your place here.