As the Freedom Festival 2017 line-up is announced, Freedom Maker volunteer Kate Ogram looks back on what Freedom means to her…
I guess musings on freedom after a General Election should speak for themselves – freedom to express ourselves, freedom to choose, freedom to make our voices heard. It strikes me that these concepts change as we go through life. We start by yearning for independence from authority, straining at the leash to outgrow childhood and to fly solo. Yet that can bring constraints in the form of responsibility- initially for ourselves but then often for others too. Doing what we want, when we want, becomes a challenge; selfishness wanes, freedom’s wings clipped.
Freedom Festival restores my power of flight. As a Freedom Maker volunteer with the festival’s media team, in 2014 I joined a family of people committed to this City of Culture and to the principles of the man who presides over Queens Gardens with his newly-gilded scroll, William Wilberforce. It was an investment of a weekend of my life that I expect will have an impact on the rest of it.
The following September, a staggering 115,000 people sampled the delights of Freedom Festival. Game upped. I had gratefully accepted a role as Freedom Ambassador and my volunteer media team were buzzing. A mix of young and not-so-young, we documented the three vibrant days across Twitter and Instagram, blogged, photographed, reviewed and laughed – lots. And then we partied!
2016 saw Mikey Martins take the glorious gamut of Freedom activity to new levels. The dancing was more passionate, the drama more intense, the towers soared higher (despite the downpours) and performers dangled from threads above Albion Street car park. Half the media team returned to record the chaos; I’m hoping many of the new recruits will return again for Freedom 10 – there’s even talk of Snapchat filters…
Freedom Festival grabs you, draws you in closer, excites you, frees you to be who you want to be. There’s no wing-clipping. Just flight.
And this year’s line up promises to be the best yet. Watch our 2017 teaser film to get a taste of what’s to come.