Experiencing the joy of attending a music festival is something many of us have missed very deeply in the last 18 months. But with the advent of some organisations and venues brilliantly managing to re-open whilst keeping their 2021 audiences safe, we thought we’d talk about why festival music matters this month.

Aldinebury and Adelfest are two festivals organised by our very own experienced facilitator and musician, Chris Morris. Each festival takes place in two respective units located in Yorkshire for young people who require secure accommodation. Most of us will have experienced the joy of gathering at a festival to watch our favourite artists, and we’re lucky in the UK that we have so many brilliantly diverse festivals to choose from. The young people in the secure units we work in are no different, and (particularly this year) they also deserve to be provided with opportunities to both watch and participate in something positive.

Inviting professional artists to perform for these children gives them a range of healthy role models to look up to, with the young people often being surprised that an artist has taken the time to come and perform for them, in their environment.

Giving these children a chance to take part in a music festival alongside these professional artists is a positive boost to their confidence and often challenges their (less healthy) feelings and insecurities by fostering more positive behaviour and outcomes.

It is rare that these children are celebrated for their achievements. Aldinebury and Adelfest give young people on the project an opportunity to perform their own music, perform alongside the (aforementioned) experienced musicians and facilitators (and a special guest or two) in the same line-up and get recognition for how much work they’ve put in and how far they’ve come, often leading to more commitment from these same individuals going forwards. Not only are these young people building musical ability, they are also learning about the benefits of hard work and persistence and are often motivated to do yet more and develop further going forwards.

Thanks to Chris, Jess, Leona, Paulette and Chris for allowing us to share their music, which you can find in our latest Sounds Like… playlist!