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Promise of sunshine for Greenbelt

23 August 2013


Getting ready: the festival site under construction on Wednesday

Getting ready: the festival site under construction on Wednesday

THOUSANDS are expected to descend on Cheltenham Racecourse today for the start of the 40th annual Greenbelt Festival, which takes place over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Forecasts suggest that revellers will be spared the torrential rain that tested the organisers last year ( News, 31 August 2012). Temperatures are expected to reach as high as 26 or 27 degrees over the weekend, which is forecast to be largely dry.

The anniversary has prompted this year's theme: "Life Begins". The programme includes a mixture of music, talks, comedy, theatre, and multiple forms of worship.

The line-up includes the Californian rock band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the award-winning soul singer Lemar, and the comedian Milton Jones.

Speakers include the Episcopalian preacher and writer, the Revd Barbara Brown Taylor ( Features, 16 August); the author of Unapologetic, Francis Spufford ( Features, 7 September 2012); the American writer and activist the Revd Jim Wallis; and the novelist Jon McGregor.

Other speakers include the Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral, Canon Mark Oakley; the Revd Steve Chalke, who will be speaking about his support of same-sex relationships ( News, 18 January); and the theologian and activist Vicky Beeching.

On Sunday, a document, Time for Action, will be launched by Kairos Palestine, explaining why Britain has a particular responsibility to be involved in the Middle East peace process.

A feature-length documentary, Greenbelt at 40: The Film, has been produced to mark the festival's 40th year. It includes archive footage and interviews with people who have been involved with the festival.

The Church Times has launched a free guide to festivals and events, which contains insider tips and interviews with artists and writers. The app can be downloaded at the iTunes app store. The official festival programme is also available to download.

The Church Times is Greenbelt's official media partner. See next week's paper for comprehensive festival coverage.



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