Harlequin Fayre 2015 is East Anglia's 6th Green Gathering. It carries on the great tradition of the Albion Fairs of the 70's and 80's.
It draws on years of experience to offer a mix that is family-friendly but adventurous, environmentally conscious and still partying. It is put together with a great team of people, as a chance to relax in a beautiful setting for a number of days with good music, fine food, lovely company and organic beers.
Once upon a time there was the Seventies and Eighties. And looking back, these far off times seem fairly simple and honest. There was a lot of people getting out of the cities, remembering that nature is bigger than us, and that community is important. Around this time great people formed the East Albion Arts Trust, and across many years put together a splendid set of shows and events under the umbralla name the Albion Fairs at Rougham, Bungay, Barsham and more. Lots of people got involved and made the gatherings happen, and they were great! They showed huge amounts of colour, wonder, creativity and community, and that never really went away. Later, the Albion Fairs became victim to their own success but by then the idea that we could work together towards such great things was firmly established. The kids area at Glastonbury Festival, projects like the Albion Kids Show in London and Wierd & Wonderful Wood in Suffolk are all projects that share these roots.
Some of those who'd been part of these Albion Fairs kept travelling and exploring, and this brings us to the modern day.
The UK the festival scene had largely moved to the South-West. In East Anglia there was a notable lack of interesting faily events. For a lot of us a huge stack of speakers and plenty of loud music running til dawn just didn't hit those switches. There's so much more fun that can be had and really it's about people. There's a certain magic at small events that does not seem able to survive the larger events.
In 2008 Green Man Fayre was born, as a gathering for us. And it was lovely, so after we'd recovered from the not inconsiderable effort we created Harlequin Fayre. Since then it's grown a bit, but we keep it small out of choice, just allowing in enough people to really make it work well. It's certainly filled out, and now we have an astounding crew and public, many of who have been onboard for years, and years.
We enjoy the carnival of it all, the meetings, and the dancing into the night, but it's always been about more than that - we walk away having met new faces, built new groups, surprised ourselves again with what can be achieved, and added colour to our each other's lives and our own for the following year. The line between the hundreds of crew and their public is a very blurred one, and this is as it should be. It's just a large group of people having a great weekend together, everyone does their bit, and we love it!