This only works as a pdf. There were a couple of years I was asked to contribute some words/poetry to the Greenbelt Festival Guide, (loosely) based on the theme. This was from 2010. Huge hat-tip to Wilf Whitty for designing it up.
Seem to remember it being kicked off in my head as I took in a Surrealist exhibition at Tate Modern. This irreverent movement intent on provoking has attractive output to us – at least we know we’re not meant to understand it. But it ultimately felt very bleak and hope-less to me, its bursting creativity seemed to drive in an entirely negative direction.
The theme of the festival was ‘The Art of Looking Sideways’, so I changed the name from A Festivist Manifesto, which has too many fests anyway. But Greenbelt at its best, while always Activist, seems to me to inspire a Festivist attitude to life. I think Tom Wright talks about this in his section on ‘Beauty’ in Surprised by Hope. All too often I forget this – but as the actual official festive season approaches, and my temptation to bah humbug increases, I ask whether we can get our festivity truly joyful without always having to be quirky.