Unity Festival Programme

Download your UNITY Festival wristband here.

Click here to join
UNITY Festival 2021 on
Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 March 2021 between 10am & 5pm.


Meeting ID: 845 6261 3289

Passcode: UNITY

You will be greeted by a Festival Steward who will make sure you're in the right place.

UNITY Festival 2021
A free, online music & story festival celebrating community, nature and social action.

 

We're bringing the outdoors indoors for a weekend of free, online live music, stories and workshops. Head to the Main Stage to enjoy live performances from Skimstone Arts’ bands - Reality Boots, Skimstone Ensemble as well as special guests sound recorder and composer Chris Watson, rapper Kay Greyson and singer-songwriter Bumi Thomas. Pop into the Music Tent to take part in a host of singing, songwriting, drumming and rapping workshops or relax and unwind in the Chill Out Tent and be immersed in shared stories, nature and fantasy.

 

Join a community of festival-goers at the Festival Green for lunch and make sure to download a specially designed festival wristband to prove you were there. Whether you’re a festival first-timer or a vegan burger veteran this is an experience not to be missed!

 

Events are FREE and suitable for all ages.

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Scroll down to find programme list and full details.

FRIDAY

UNITY Festival Launch

Friday 5 March, 5pm
 

Claire Webster Saaremets and Kema Sikazwe will be hosting the launch of UNITY Festival on our world wide internet radio, with a special broadcast highlighting the headlining guests, programme and sneak preview of music and stories coming up. Grab a drink, sit by the fire and join the festival…


Location: Skimstone Radio
Event Type: Festival Launch Event

Radio Link: Click here.

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SATURDAY

Mindful Movement

Saturday 6 March, 10am
 

Kick off the day with some relaxing and mindful movements with founder of Madam Teatro Martim Dinis live from Portugal. This workshop is an invitation to gently activate and align our bodies and senses, with a bit of play, warming up to a full day of Unity Festival.


Location: Main Stage
Event Type: Free Workshop

Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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Notes From The Wild

Saturday 6 March, 10.30 am
 

Join sound recordist and composer Chris Watson as he presents a journey of stories and videos about his adventures. "I like to imagine that music across every culture has evolved from being influenced by sounds from the natural world and 'Notes from the Wild’ will celebrate a diverse range of sounds and rhythms from across the planet from Antarctica to the Arctic.”


Location: Main Stage
Event Type: Free Talk

Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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Food & Togetherness -
The Human Circle

Saturday 6 March, 11.30am

Calling all food-lovers! Join Peter Saaramets and Penny to celebrate the magic of making and sharing food. Download the list of ingredients and cook a simple pasta dish whilst listening to the song The Human Circle and discover the warmth that food and friendship can bring.

Location: Music Tent
Event Type: Free Cooking Workshop
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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The Creation Of Black Star

Saturday 6 March, 11.30 am

Join actor Samuel Lamptey and script writer Nii Kwartelai live from Ghana to help create a new story inspired by Black Star a specially commissioned story about what it means to be a star, a black star of any age that can change the world.

Location: Chill Out Tent
Event Type: Free Discussion & Workshop
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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Lunch at the
Festival Green

Saturday 6 March, 12.15pm

Grab a seat either inside at the window, or in your back yard or garden and join Skimstone Arts on the Festival Green. Bring a snack, something to drink and sit and listen to our Imagine Your Seat podcast. While you’re chilling out there’ll be a special ‘phone in’ for those not connected to the internet to choose a story, a poem or a song.

Location: Festival Green
Event Type: Lunch
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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Rhythms in the Room

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Saturday 6 March, 1.30 pm

Head off on a rhythm adventure with the energetic David Stickman Higgins. Explore what it’s like to make rhythms using your voice, body and objects from around the home before helping to compose a new piece together, in the moment, because in our homes, the rhythm of life is never alone.


Location: Music Tent

Event Type: Free Workshop

Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

Together... a Song

Saturday 6 March, 2pm

Join Skimstone Arts’ musicians Liz Corney and Quinn Green for a special songwriting workshop exploring the theme of Unity in a fun and creative way. Using an online collaborative approach they will share with you some different ways of creating the start of a song.

Location: Music Tent
Event Type: Free Songwriting Workshop
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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Footsteps in the Forest

Saturday 6 March, 1.30pm

A guided fantasy where your imagination walks with you through an old forest. Set to live music and spoken word, join Claire Webster Saaremets in discovering the depth of a journey in your mind's eye.

Location: Chill Out Tent
Event Type: Free Relaxation
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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Rooting for Nature

Saturday 6 March, 2pm

Meet environmental activist Azra Tanovic, co-founder of Rootically, a revolutionary approach supporting urban gardening. Azra will share her unique insight into her work and talk about her values and passions which lead her to set up the company, the importance of how urbanisation should include nature and how we can make that happen.

Location: Chill Out Tent
Event Type: Free Talk
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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Open Mic

Saturday 6 March, 3pm

Join festival hosts Claire Webster Saaremets and Kema Sikazwe as we open the tent doors and invite you to come and share a 3-4 minute story, song or performance. Whether you have something to share or you just fancy watching everyone is welcome.

Location: Music Tent
Event Type: Free Open Mic
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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The Goddess, The Traveller & The Father

Saturday 6 March, 3pm

Magpie's Corner is where you can experience a relaxing story that takes you on a journey of imaginative mythology. You will be visited by three special characters who will try to help you make positive change.
 

Location: Chill Out Tent
Event Type: Free Event
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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UNITY Headliner Gig: Kay Greyson

Saturday 6 March, 4pm

Rapping and performing since she was a teenager, 22 year-old
Kay Greyson has gained a reputation in Newcastle as the hardest working artist there is. Period.
Join us in conversation with Kay as she selects and plays tracks from her albums and shares her insight as an artist and rapper.

Kay will be supported by Reality Boots, Skimstone Arts very own Young Artist Collective and Echo Artist’ band, with a short set of tracks from their album Evolve and other recent projects. Skimstone Ensemble will also present a short recorded set of their live band performing three of new songs that celebrate community, nature and social action.


Location: Main Stage
Event Type: Free Headliner Gig.
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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SUNDAY

Mindful Movement

Sunday 7 March, 10am
 

Kick off the day with some relaxing and mindful movements with founder of Madam Teatro Martim Dinis live from Portugal. This workshop is an invitation to gently activate and align our bodies and senses, with a bit of play, warming up to a full day of Unity Festival.


Location: Main Stage
Event Type: Free Workshop

Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

Rhythms in the Room

We're Not Afraid

Sunday 7 March, 10.30am

Head off on a rhythm adventure with the energetic David Stickman Higgins. Explore what it’s like to make rhythms using your voice, body and objects from around the home before helping to compose a new piece together, in the moment, because in our homes, the rhythm of life is never alone.


Location: Music Tent
Event Type: Free Workshop
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

Sunday 7 March, 10.30am

What does it mean to not be afraid? How does our imagination help us in times of uncertainty? Join Skimstone musicians Kema Sikazwe and Peter Saaremets as they talk about where inspiration can take us in songwriting and a fictional world where nature provides comfort. Then hear the song We’re Not Afraid.


Location: Chill Out Tent
Event Type: Free Songwriting Workshop/Discussion
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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Dance: Rhythm and Rhymes

Lost & Found

Sunday 7 March, 11.30am

Join Nii Kwarty Owoo for an energetic workshop exploring African dance techniques, rhythmic sensitivity, polyrhythm and drum language. Nii is a UK based Ghanaian musician, choreographer and African dance and music lecturer. Nii was given the title Custodian of Culture by his elders at the age of 12, a role that he has since carried with him and one that continues to influence his artistic practice.


Location: Music Tent
Event Type: Free Workshop
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

Sunday 7 March, 11.30am

Fancy animating an object that’s important to you? Grab your favourite mug, your best shoes, or that one-eyed bear that you just don’t want to throw away and join animator Sheryl Jenkins to learn how to use animation apps to make your own animated gif using objects and materials from around your home. 

 

To take part you’ll need a mobile device, and the free animation app, Stop Motion Studio. Stop Motion Studio is available on the App Store or Play Store. No experience required.


Location: Chill Out Tent
Event Type: Free Animation Workshop
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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Lunch at the
Festival Green

Sunday 7 March, 12.15pm

Grab a seat either inside at the window, or in your back yard or garden and join Skimstone Arts on the Festival Green. Bring a snack, something to drink and sit and listen to our Imagine Your Seat podcast. While you’re chilling out there’ll be a special ‘phone in’ for those not connected to the internet to choose a story, a poem or a song.

Location: Festival Green
Event Type: Lunch
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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Youth Music in the North East

The Creation Of Black Star
Part Two

Sunday 7 March, 1.30pm

Listen to special songs and stories about making music with young people in lockdown, that also reach out into their communities created by our partners Switch It in Hartlepool, Standing Up-Right in North Tyneside and Jack Drum Arts in Durham.

Location: Music Tent

Event Type: Free Gig & Talk
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

Sunday 7 March, 1:30pm

Join actor Samuel Lamptey and script writer Nii Kwartelai live from Ghana to help create a new story inspired by Black Star a specially commissioned story about what it means to be a star, a black star of any age that can change the world.

Location: Chill Out Tent
Event Type: Free Discussion & Workshop
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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Day By Day

Citizen Science In Action -
The Natural History Society Of Northumbria

Sunday 7 March, 2pm
 

Join rapper Kema Sikazwe and aspiring young performer Daniel as they share their process of collaborating and writing together to produce Day by Day, a rap created from Daniel’s hospital bed, drawn from personal experience, inspiring positivity and hope. There’ll be an opportunity to share your own ideas and inspiration and work together with Kema to get a taste of freestyle rap.


Location: Music Tent
Event Type: Free Rap Workshop
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

Sunday 7 March, 2pm

Insects are vital in making the world work. Join Gordon Port from the Natural History Society of Northumbria for this presentation which will cover why insects are important and whether we should be concerned about them, together with places to visit and find out more about natural history and news of two citizen science projects you can take part in.
 

Location: Chill Out Tent
Event Type: Free Event
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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Singing with Bethany

Time for Tea & Festival Tales

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Sunday 7 March, 3pm
 

Join Bethany Elen Coyle for a live, virtual sing and explore songs of unity, peace, action, empowerment and freedom from around the world! Learn a bespoke range of specially selected and arranged songs reflecting our beautifully diverse, dynamic audience and communities!


Location: Music Tent
Event Type: Free Workshop
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

Sunday 7 March, 3pm
 

Bring a cushion and join Skimstone Arts' Artistic Director Claire Webster Saaremets to chat about the Festival and your highlights so far? This is a chance to listen to festival-goers and see what people have made and put in our exhibition space.


Location: Chill Out Tent
Event Type: Free Workshop
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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UNITY Headliner Gig: Bumi Thomas

Sunday 7 March, 4pm

Join British-Nigerian jazz-folk-soul singer-songwriter and guitarist Bumi Thomas as she headlines the Main Stage performing songs from her EP Broken Silence live to close the Festival on Sunday night.

Bumi will be introducing her tracks and will be in conversation with the festival team.
 

Bumi will be supported by Skimstone Arts' bands Reality Boots and the Skimstone Ensemble.


Location: Main Stage
Event Type: Free Headliner Gig
Zoom Link: Available here on the day.

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