In June 2022, the villages of Goring and Streatley were a hive of activity with over 80 different events as part of its ten-day cultural GAP Festival. 3,370 tickets were booked for admitted Festival events, and a further 3,500 seats filled for its Jubilee street party celebrations too.
The GAP Festival charity was set up as a legacy to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, so it was particularly apt that the 2022 programme of events started with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The Festival officially opened with the lighting of the Jubilee beacon on 2nd June, followed by a thanksgiving service featuring a choir of local residents who came together to sing the Song for the Commonwealth for this momentous celebration.
Fortunately, a little early rain failed to dampen the villages’ attempt of the longest Jubilee Street Party in Britain on 5th June, where 550 tables were set out by volunteers along Goring and Streatley’s High Streets in a 1.3km stretch.
3,500 street party goers were united together across two counties, through the act of passing a replica crown to each other, which took the duration of the party to be completed!
One of the first Festival events to sell-out was local band The Lightyears, who brought their floor filling anthems back to their roots in Goring. Further sold-out events included a unique conversation between MP Theresa May and the Bishop of Oxford, where they discussed how church and state co-exist today.
Peter Pan, performed by Illyria Outdoor Theatre, saw families calling out “I believe in fairies” in a touring production of this children's classic with real flying - the first of its kind.
Keynote speaker and National Geographic Explorer, Dr Niall McCann, was joined by a panel of local experts, where the audience were invited to ask them about how global conservation thinking can translate into local community actions following a talk about his conservation adventures around the world.
Streatley Farmhouse became a real venue highlight for many, with this beautiful c18th barn hosting both award-winning folk group The Unthanks and specially produced GAP Festival Opera performances of Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte sung by some of the UK opera houses' finest performers.
Over 600 people enjoyed exploring the Festival’s two open garden dates across the two villages including the picturesque Mill Cottage in Goring. Plus, there were a whole host of art, poetry, textile workshops, and live fringe music across village venues and pubs that were free to enjoy.
The next generation signed up to enjoy a gruesome teen horror make up session and the library held regular storytime and crafts for little ones. Not forgetting the red carpet premiere screening with 'paparazzi' at the Festival's first ever Children's Film Festival and a poetry competition held in partnership with Goring, Streatley and South Stoke Primary Schools.
“2022’s Festival was a celebration of all that makes our community so special” said Ginny Avery, GAP Festival Artistic Director, “From the Festival's sponsors and the amazing volunteers that all give their own time to make these events happen, to the venues themselves and everyone that booked tickets and attended the events."
The GAP Festival team would like to thank all those involved in the Festival programme, including all those that organised the events as well as the marshals, parking attendants, cream tea servers and every other helping hand, without whom the Festival would have not been possible.
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