Event at 23 - 26.06.2022

What a Wonderful World Festival

A four-day festival which will use the arts, science and debate to focus on the fragile future of our planet is taking place in Alnwick at the end of June.

Alnwick Playhouse is the main venue for the  event which will celebrate our environment, question our actions and inspire us to act now to make a real difference for future generations.  The Festival will expand into The Alnwick Garden on Sunday 26 with an art workshop and live music.

Liz Anderson, festival trustee and co-organiser said “About four years ago I woke up to the devastation being caused round the world by the climate emergency.  My husband, musician Alistair, and I hit on the idea of a celebration that would raise people’s spirits and bring hope and options for action rather than despair. We were particularly inspired by youngsters who have proved the most active on climate and environmental damage and loss.”

She continued “I have always loved the Louis Armstrong version of the song ‘What a Wonderful World ‘and thought that it would make a heartwarming signature tune and name for our Festival”.

“I think we have something for everyone at this year’s event, which takes place from June 23 – 26.”

The Festival has received a grant of £500 from Alnwick Town Council. “This very welcome donation will help us keep ticket prices as accessible as possible” added Liz.

Peter Edge, Chair of Alnwick Town Council environmental advisory group said “As a Council we are happy to support this Festival, which is a registered educational charity, and its aims. Climate change is the issue of our time and it will affect us all.”

Keynote speakers, performers and activists including BBC ‘Countryfile’ presenter Tom Heap, members of Indie band Maximo Park, comedian Kate Fox, folk singers Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, the Eliot Smith Dancers, poets and songwriters will be responding to the call to imagine a more sustainable world.

There has been a great response from local people keen to become involved with the festival.

Brycchan Carey, Peter Edge and students from the Duchess’s Community High School are among those taking part in Thursday’s poetry event, Words for a wonderful world.

Speakers from across the north-east include gardening journalist Tom Pattinson, Duncan Hutt from Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Professor Sara Walker from Newcastle University, Royal Northern Sinfonia’s Leader Emeritus Bradley Creswick and farmer John Baker-Cresswell who is chairing the Sunday 26th discussion Food and Farming – The Future.

Glendale Middle School Ceilidh Band and their slightly older neighbours Glendale Ceilidh Band have been busy rehearsing for their performances on the Music Stage in The Alnwick Garden on Sunday 26th.

There will be a series of climate conversations which aim to get people talking by asking the questions we need answering so we can start to make a real difference. Topics range from forestry and farming to fuel bills.

Young people are central to the festival and they will be out in force debating, asking questions, dancing, singing, playing music and creating amazing art works in the Playhouse and also The Alnwick Garden as well as enjoying the Green Tails storytelling sessions for younger ones.

Both venues have become enthusiastic partners along with Friends of the Earth Alnwick, The Duchess Community High School and Northumberland County Council as well as local primary schools.

Alnwick Town Council has also supported the event with a grant of £500. Councillor Peter Edge, Chair of Alnwick Town Council environmental advisory group said “As a Council we are happy to support this Festival and its aims. Climate change is the issue of our time and it will affect us all.”

Liz, Alistair and their team want the Festival to become an annual event, as more and more people get involved in addressing the climate emergency.

As Sir David Attenborough says “We have been putting things off year after year. The moment of crisis has come”.

Further information including Festival programme: www.whataww.org

For ticket information contact Alnwick Playhouse Box Office: www.alnwickplayhouse.co.uk -01665 660550








Venue: Alnwick Playhouse, Bondgate Without, , Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1PQ