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
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
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
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
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.