Following 18 months of grassroots campaigning, organisers of UpRise Festival, legacy of Europe’s largest anti-racism festival, Rise, have been granted permission by Haringey Council to hold the event in London’s Finsbury Park on 3 October 2010.
April 2009 saw the abrupt withdrawal of funding for Rise Festival by the incumbent Mayor, which kick-started the UpRise campaign by two Haringey residents, Mike Barnard and Freya van Lessen. Despite an unsuccessful petition calling on Mayor Johnson to reinstate the festival with its original anti-racism message, the pair managed to garner the support of over 3,000 people which encouraged them to take ownership of the festival and bring it back to the community.
Taking on the spirit and the ideals of Rise, UpRise will use the universal language of music and the arts to connect with Londoners to celebrate the city’s rich cultural diversity, while staying true to the original event’s ethos of providing a forum to share the message about anti-racism. Despite being granted permission to host the event, and with the support of an experienced team of people who have donated their time freely out of passion for UpRise, there is a funding shortfall of £15,000, which is required to optimise the success of the event.
Speaking about the event, festival director Mike Barnard said: “We are delighted to have the go-ahead to stage the event in Finsbury Park and would like to thank everyone that has supported us. Although we have come a long way, we are not out of the woods yet and are calling on individuals and companies to support UpRise through donations or sponsorship to ensure that the event is the legacy that Rise deserves.”
Individuals can lend their support to UpRise’s fundraising efforts by visiting http://www.uprise.org.uk or by joining the £1 Crew via the Facebook page http://www.bit.ly/cfmc6j. There are also opportunities for companies who wish to pledge their support via sponsorship. Further details can be obtained by emailing email@example.com