Cash birthday gift for Lancaster youth festival

Larks in the Park gives young musicians a platform to perform.
Larks in the Park gives young musicians a platform to perform.

An annual youth event in Williamson Park has been given a funding boost in time for its fifth birthday.

This Sunday’s ‘Larks in the Park’ has been awarded £1,960 from the Police and Crime Commissioner of Lancashire.

The yearly festival has benefited from part of a £10,000 cash pot given out by the commissioner Clive Grunshaw to community projects which make a difference in the county.

Larks in the Park, now in its fifth year, is Lancashire’s largest free youth led young people’s music and arts festival. It showcases some of the district’s finest young artistic and musical talent, as well as entertainment, workshops and food stalls.

Acts appearing on Sunday in the park include Britney Christina, Rebecca Morse, Howard Ellis, Dan Warrilow, Garden Grows, Joe McCorriston, Dean Marroni, David Wells, Dr Sensible, D.A.N., GANGreen, Alice Ashcroft, Almost Immortal, Cat Perrin, Ark, Asmara, Hope and Danny, Iona Lane, Jekyll, Maria Fijol, Mute, Seven Thirty Seven, Molly Wilkinson, Solid States, Stormy Monday, The Situates and David Wells. There will also be an exhibition of work by young artists.

Mari Ryan, project development manager, said: “I started up Larks in the Park back in 2010, whilst working for Young Addaction, when I identified that our district had a huge wealth of young artistic and musical talent, but lack of platforms, suitable for young people, to showcase this.

“We were so surprised and pleased with how the first year went, with an audience of around 1500 attending, many of whom were young people, that we decided to make it annual event.

“What makes Larks in the Park very different from other events is that it is run and managed by a group of very proactive young people.

“We spend around six to eight months training these young people up in all aspects of events management and then support them to plan and manage the event.

“Larks has grown each year with more stages and audiences of up to 2500 and the reason for the success and following is because young people feel a sense of ownership and that Larks is a young people’s event put on by young people.

“The Larks team have also been given opportunities where they have planned and managed stages at other events, such as Lancaster Music Festival and Lancaster Arts City.”

The event runs from noon until 6pm.

Larks in the Park has also been funded by Awards for All and is a project run in conjunction with Uthink and Strawberry Fields.

If you are a visual projection artist, a photographer, or would like to join the event steward team, contact larksapplicants@gmail.com .

Mr Grunshaw said: “I’m delighted to award this funding to such worthy groups that are helping to make a real difference in their communities.

“I am committed to working with Lancashire’s communities to support them in making the county a safer and better place to live.

“All of the groups I have given money to use innovative and creative ways to help me achieve my priorities of tackling crime, reoffending and anti-social behaviour as well as protecting vulnerable people and I would like to thank them for their effort and commitment. I’ve now made £75,000 of funding available through the Community Action Fund and I would encourage groups that run projects in their local areas to apply.”

For more information on how to apply for funding, visit www.lancashire-pcc.gov.uk/partnership/commissioners-community-action-fund