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Green Hustle Gears Up For Nottingham's First Post-Lockdown Festival

31 May 21 words: LeftLion

After a successful virtual event last year, Green Hustle returns for an in-person festival in June...

Photo: Young Hustlers festival by Al Greer

The sights, sounds and, well... people that you’d expect to find at a festival might seem like a distant memory after a year of lockdowns and isolation. Well this coming Saturday 5 June, the team behind Hockley Hustle and Young Hustlers are looking to change all that, by bringing their brand new, free Green Hustle Festival to Sneinton Market Avenues and the surrounding area from 10am-4pm. According to this writer’s research, this may well be the first physical festival to take place in the city centre since November 2019 - the tail end of the last festival season. Don’t worry though, it’s all 100% outdoors, and organisers assure us that city officials have given their safety plans the seal of approval.

Green Hustle’s first event, a virtual festival in September 2020, featured guest appearances from our own columnist and Nottingham East MP Nadia Whittome, as well as established local organisations such as Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and Carbon Neutral Nottingham. This Saturday’s line-up is a distinctly grassroots affair, with Green Hustle Festival taking cues from their new Sneinton Market Avenues surrounds by bringing through more of the creative and sustainably-minded independent businesses already familiar to the area, as well as local community organisations and the wider environmental community.

With a programme hung around the themes of Imagine, Grow, Create and Discover, the event sees organisations as varied as Hackspace, Next Gen Movement and Nottingham Open Spaces Forum coming together to cook up a melting pot of thought-provoking, positivity-inducing content. On the main stage you can expect talks from the likes of The Pythian Club’s Benjamin Rosser and our own Arts editor Rachel Wilcocks in conversation with Green Hustle co-Director Christine Katerere on behalf of City Arts, whilst poetry will be created on site and performed throughout the day from GOBS Collective, all piped through a pedal and solar-powered PA.

There’s a wealth of different activities on offer and organisers are promising an accessible and light-hearted day of fun that doesn’t dwell on the doom and gloom of the climate crisis, nor require a horticulture degree or a lockdown-inspired love of birdwatching to enjoy - you’ll find the expected eco-friendly fare like planting and birdhouse making, but they’re saddled alongside collaborative zine making, screen printing, bicycle-powered Scalextric duelling and visual art installations to name a few. Traders on market stalls will cover a range of eco-conscious niches, from vintage homewares to recycled fashion, vegan ice cream and artisanal baked goods. Or if you’re feeling parched, you can always just drop in for a coffee and/or beer at usual Avenues suspects Blend and Neon Raptor.

“After the success of the online festival last year, it’s great to see Green Hustle expand its offering this summer with a physical presence in the Creative Quarter."

Green Hustle has the backing of local cultural heavyweights Creative Quarter and Nottingham BID, as well as Arts Council England. They’re also working in partnership with The Avenues Independent Market and Nottingham Street Food Club who will be bringing their own top notch indie shopping and street food fare to the mix respectively.

Festival co-Director Adam Pickering told LeftLion that the event would be “a proper coming together of some of the best humans in Nottingham - people who are working hard to improve lives, to grow confidence and connections in our communities, and to restore our natural environment. We hope this inspiring lineup will encourage people to get involved with creating a greener and fairer society, and show that we don’t need to sit around waiting for a fresh approach to our environment to be handed down from on high. This is about making change for ourselves. There’s a growing appetite for living more harmoniously with nature, and we’re trying to open the green space up for new people.”

Young Hustlers festival by Al Greer

One of the Sneinton Market Avenues locals, artist and campaigner Sarah Manton of Curious?, told us she was “looking forward to getting together with Nottingham’s fabulous planters, greeners, movers and shakers in actual real life at the Green Hustle. Making connections between us, as the interested and concerned human beings in the city, is just as important as making green corridors for the bees, to ensure that we are creating a sustainable, biodiverse and carbon neutral city for all of us”.  

Besides the action on The Avenues, a clutch of community-led fringe events are also taking place across the area, including Sneinton Vegan Market - taking up its usual Saturday spot on Sneinton Market, whilst King Edward’s Park hosts skate lessons from Skate Nottingham and cycle training from RideWise, along with gardening activities from Backlit’s Pending Collective and songwriting workshop from CRS Community Recording Studio. You can also mosey over to Bath Street to check out some of the City Council’s electric vehicle fleet, or take a tour around the nearby Chaos Magic community garden on the day.

Tamily Cookson, CEO of Creative Quarter Nottingham said “After the success of the online festival last year, it’s great to see Green Hustle expand its offering this summer with a physical presence in the Creative Quarter. Placing community and creativity at the heart of the fight to protect our environment is one that chimes not only with the city’s plans to be carbon neutral by 2028, but really connects with Nottingham’s identity as a place full of great ideas and good people working together. The Creative Quarter is proud to support the festival and see it brought to an in-person audience as well as a digital one this year.”

Polly Reade, a Director of Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) commented "As part of our commitment to being greener in the projects and services we deliver, we are delighted to be a sponsor of Green Hustle. Packed with music, creativity, learning, interactive discussions and workshops from all corners of the city, it promises to be a fantastic event for all to enjoy."

If you can’t attend Green Hustle Festival in person for whatever reason, worry not. They will also be streaming live from the festival all day, via the Green Hustle website, or their Twitch and Facebook Live channels.

For more information, check out the full festival programme.

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