UNITY Festival 2021

1 weekend, 26 free events, enjoyed by 1000+ people across 23 countries.

From Friday 5 to Sunday 7 March 2021 Skimstone Arts presented the intergenerational and international UNITY Festival 2021, a music and story festival celebrating community, nature and social action.

Bringing the outdoors indoor we invited festival goers to enjoy a weekend of FREE, online live music, stories and workshops. Those who headed to the 'Main Stage' were able to enjoy live performances from Skimstone Arts’ bands - Reality Boots, Skimstone Ensemble and special guests sound recordist and composer Chris Watson, Newcastle rapper Kay Greyson and British-Nigerian singer-songwriter Bumi Thomas. Music lovers were encouraged to pop into the 'Music Tent' to take part in a host of singing, songwriting, drumming and rapping workshops and anyone interested in relaxing and unwinding could head to the 'Chill Out Tent' and be immersed in shared stories, nature and fantasy. 

This community of festival-goers were encouraged to meet at the 'Festival Green' for lunch and to download a specially designed festival wristband to prove they were there. From festival first-timers to vegan burger veteran's this was an experience aimed at all ages not to be missed.

UNITY Festival 2021 began with a Festival Launch Party broadcast live via Skimstone Radio on Friday 5 March at 5pm which attracted 2,296 listeners. This was an opportunity for people to join presenters Claire Webster Saaremets and Kema Sikazwe to find out everything they'd need to know about the Festival and how to get involved.

On Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 March over 1,000 festival-goers joined our community to take part in a host of free events via Zoom. Saturday 6 March began with a talk from sound recordist and composer Chris Watson at 10.30am and closed with a special set from Newcastle rapper Key Greyson at 4pm. On Sunday 7 March at 4pm the Festival was brought to a close by British-Nigerian singer-songwriter Bumi Thomas.


"Magnificent and creatively illuminating"

"Kudos to Skimstone Arts - this is a great Festival. Thank you."

"Thanks to everyone involved in organising such a great mix of performances talks and workshops - great to feel a bit of that festival atmosphere."

"Brilliant end to a brilliant festival, well done everyone."

"Had a fantastic time time listening to the Black Star piece and participating in the creation of a new episode!"

UNITY Festival was made possible with funding from Newcastle City Council, WellNewcastle Gateshead, Community Foundation Tyne & Wear, Arts Council England, Youth Music, Big Lottery Community Fund and Quaker Legacy Fund.