A POPULAR family festival which mixes a serious climate crisis message with fun, craft and music is going ahead, despite struggling with costs.

Tavistock EcoFest is staged on the riverside Meadows on Saturday (July 29) from 11am to 6pm with a sustainable theme through craft, community energy saving advice, the lyrics of numerous local bands and transport, while encouraging children to enjoy games.

In common with many events, costs of staging it have risen. The organisers admit they are are ‘struggling’ to meet the costs — so on the eve of the festival a vital separate concert is being staged tomorrow (Friday) to help boost funds.

The festival is organised by Rosie Swayne and Trudy Eperon. Trudy said: “We are so excited about the return of EcoFest to the Meadows for its third year.”                   

             “It brings community groups together with businesses and performers to provide climate change education and to highlight solutions to living sustainably.

“EcoFest is a completely free family festival and this year we have lots of activities for children, including circus skills, face painting, craft activities and a drumming workshop.

“We have some fabulous bands playing all day long, including King’s Gambit, a thrilling original folk-beat band; Boom Boom Racoon, a ska/punk acoustic group, and local folk duo legends Suthering. Also Climate Change Crisis Cabaret from the Fossilheads. Also performing is the Wheelhouse Folk Choir along with a range of bands from the area. 

“There will be food and drink vendors, including wood-fired Exe Valley Pizza and two bars, including a craft ale stand from Tavistock’s own Stannary Brewery along with stalls and two big top tents to shelter in, should the weather not be on our side.”

Other entertainment is provided by morris dancers, ukulele players Simon Sometimes and Jess Tuthill, Karmadillo and Marieke Vink. The stands offer craft products made with sustainable materials and promoting sustainable and affordable ways of living.

“EcoFest would not have been possible without a grant from West Devon Borough Council, so we say a big thank you to them and to those who have donated money to help with the rising costs of putting on the event.”

The urgent fundraiser tomorrow is at the Stannary Brewery on Pixon Lane at 7pm with live music from Maud and Chris of King’s Gambit and solo set from Rosie from the Fossilheads, Jess Tuthill with her Ukulele and a raffle to help with costs of the festival.

Trudy added: “So please do come along and support us, or if people can’t make it to the fundraiser we’d urge people to please make a donation as we are struggling with our running costs this year.”

Donations can be made to https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8VE3wnSsTXdonations or via the EcoFest Facebook Page EcoFest Tavi.

Also attending is the organisation TavyRail which is urging the Government to support its ‘sustainable’ transport project to build a rail link between Tavistock and Bere Alston. 

Richard Searight, of TavyRail, said: “EcoFest is the right place to be for us because we are all about providing sustainable, low emission transport which would reduce the need for polluting road transport on the busy A386 to Plymouth. Rail travel therefore helps tackle the climate emergency by encouraging people to leave their cars behind.” 

Kate Royston, of Tamar Energy Community, said: “We’ll be on hand to talk to visitors about energy, particular in the home,  options for improving energy efficiency and the importance of insulation and renewable heat to reduce household costs and reduce climate impact. This is even more important to households as energy prices have doubled. 

“EcoFest brings together organisations focused on sustainability. 

“Addressing the climate has never seemed so important.”