Thelki Festival Report

Well, what a truly beautiful week at Thelki Festival.

It started last Tuesday, when I got involved with set up and construction work for a few days, doing some improv building using scaffolding, timber, hessian sacking and whatever else I could find in various piles and store rooms at the beautiful setting that is the Avalon Priory to build various bits of infrastructure needed on-site to make the festival happen.

Using my old experience from working in events/ exhibition stand construction and property renovation I immersed myself with the build, getting involved in the construction of two stages, a changing area for performers and a shower cubicle.

It was great experience and gives me confidence boost I needed (after not really using power tools or any construction skills for at least 6 or 7 years) to tackle the conversion project I’ve been procrastinating over the past year. That is, converting my replacement van (below) which is an unassuming plain white box, a blank canvas, into a funky, multi-purpose, mobile “Faerie Play Zone” (the name incidentally comes from the last 3 digits of the registration plate) and traveling VibeSpace H.Q.

This project can only really start when I have the funds to do so though.

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Once all the hard graft was done, I had a wonderful weekend, being a free faerie, frolicking around the magical grounds of the Avalon Priory that Thelki Festival was located at.

I also facilitated a couple of workshops too, which were named after the campaign. Much like the podcast I’ve just started, the “VibeSpace workshop,” invited participants to come along and share their stories overcoming mental health by exploring creativity, but in a face to face group setting, as opposed to a recorded one to one interview.

The photos I’ve shared above capture the essence of this nicely, when I was located in the Wellbeing Tent.

The conversations we shared nuanced and in depth, meaning myself and participants felt empowered to talk openly about our struggles.

It was a great honour to have been able to hold this brave space for people to come and be vulnerable and talk about how creativity has helped them on their mental health recovery journies.

I’m really looking forward to further opportunities to able to facilitate similar workshops at other events around the U.K.

In addition to this, I spoke to several people who expressed an interest in being a guest on the VibeSpace Mental Health Podcast, which is incredibly exciting to see this new venture begin to take flight too!

To listen to the podcast so far, please head over to Spotify, where it is hosted:

All in all, it has been a magical and super productive week, filled with wonderful moments, experiences and meaningful interactions with lots of new people and reconnecting with other friends I’ve made over the past couple of years.

It truly has been an inspiring time, which fills me with hope that co-creation, community and being part of a tribe is the way humanity should be living, not the oppressive, top-down hierarchical structures we see in the “normal” world we face today, which is anything but, as human, animal and environmental welfare is not considered over the blind pursuit of profits. (That’s a topic for another blog post though…)

To end, I’d like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Mowgli and the organising team of Thelki Festival, the Radical Faeries for helping to co-create the event, the wonderful people who live at the Avalon Priory for providing such a beautiful setting for the event and for your nourishment, to all of the performers and of course the wonderful attendees who took a risk, paid for tickets and came along to support this fledgling start up festival, looking forward to next year!

Sending out peace, love & positive vibes to you all, wishing you a wonderful week ahead! xx

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