Support the Team
At this year’s Upton Blues Festival in July, ‘Blues Festival Ambassadors’ were introduced for the first time. The group is made up of volunteers whose mission is to be the friendly face of the festival, helping visitors with information about the festival and Upton but, just as importantly, promoting the charitable work that is a vital part of the festival. Many people don’t realise that Upton Blues Festival is a registered charity which, every year, helps all kinds of causes in lots of different ways.
For example, Upton Blues Festival:
- donated £25,000 to local good causes in 2019,
- gave £3000 to a local primary school to install a new PA system,
- donated £40,000 for the refurbishment of the netball and tennis courts on New Street and,
- each year, pays for donated musical instruments to be refurbished and given to disadvantaged young people, as well as providing teachers to help them learn to play.
You may have seen the Blues Ambassadors around the festival throughout the weekend – in our orange hi-viz waistcoats we couldn’t really be missed! We each had a crib sheet with information about the festival and its charity work, as well as information about the town, so the answers we might need were always at our fingertips. We don’t give out programme information but encourage people to buy a programme instead as this is one of the ways the festival makes the money it needs for its charitable work and to keep the festival a free event. Nor are we there to deal with emergencies, there are stewards and security staff for that, but we can certainly help to find the assistance people might need in an emergency.
Being an Ambassador is great fun and didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the festival at all. I went, with friends and family, to see the bands I wanted to see but, wearing my hi-viz, I was available if anyone needed help or information. In fact, for me, being an Ambassador enhanced my experience of the festival. It gave me the opportunity to meet all sorts of people I wouldn’t otherwise have spoken to, and there was a real feeling of camaraderie within the group and I can honestly say I’ve made new friends as a result.
At this summer’s festival we were just short of twenty Ambassadors strong and, for next year, we’d like to increase that number. So, if you love the festival, or just love Upton, and want to get involved, you’d be very welcome to join us. Anyone can be an Ambassador and it doesn’t have to be a huge commitment, just a couple of hours per day would be fine, though many Ambassadors enjoy doing more. In 2020 we'll have a new information point on the big-top field so we’re also looking for people to help there throughout the weekend, which could be a good opportunity for those with restricted mobility who can’t do a lot of walking to get involved.
As we move towards next summer’s festival we’ll be meeting from time to time to give everyone an opportunity to meet each other, to ask any questions you might have, and to contribute ideas about how we operate.
If you’re interested in becoming a Blues Festival Ambassador, drop me a line. My name is John Dickinson and I can be contacted at:
or you can call me on 07708832241.
You can also find contact information on the local community pages on Facebook.
We look forward to hearing from you.