Arts festival was hailed a ‘great success’

Ofton Festival at Alfreton, pictured are members of the Coal Project with their artwork

Ofton Festival at Alfreton, pictured are members of the Coal Project with their artwork

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Alfreton’s new art festival has been hailed a success after hundreds flocked to the four-day event last weekend.

Ofton Festival, held from October 20 to 23, was organised by a group a youngsters in a bid to promote culture and arts in the area.

Ofton Festival at Alfreton, pictured are members of the Coal Project inside one of the cells in the House of Confinement

Ofton Festival at Alfreton, pictured are members of the Coal Project inside one of the cells in the House of Confinement

There was plenty on offer for everyone, with flag making, caricatures, comic strips, dance performances, pottery classes, photography, poetry, street art, shop window exhibitions and much more. 
There was also a tour of the Abraham Lincoln Library Temple and the Heritage Centre.

Local trainer and artist Sally Lemsford, who helped oversee the festival, said: “We are overwhelmed by the response we received.

“There was around 500 participants, far more people turned up and got involved than we expected, it was brilliant.

“The event was beneficial to the youngsters’ development, but also brought everyone together for a community event.”

Coalfields Regeneration Trust funded Platform Thirty1 – a new arts organisation – to work with a team of young people led by two producers Andrew Turner and Billy Holt, overseen by Sally.

The festival received support from businesses and local bodies including Amber Valley Borough Council, Alfreton Town Council, Genesis, the market, The Meadows Care Home, Alfreton Heritage Centre and many more.

Jodie Cresswell-Waring from Platform Thirty1 added: “Young people had a rare opportunity to become commissioners of new local cultural activity, that excites and enriches their own lives as well as making the cultural offer better in the local community where they live – it was a great event.”

To find out more iemail Sally at coalfestivalfolk@gmail.com or follow them on Twitter: @oftonfestival.