On Sunday 15th August, the walled courtyard of Henshaws art and craft centre was bathed in warm golden sunshine, in defiance to the typically wet British summer weather. Scattered with artistic artefacts and sculpture, it was the perfect creative backdrop to a day of performance, music and talent at our third annual Orb showcase event and our second in association with FEVA.

Audience members sat in sunshine and beneath marquees

FEVA crowd bathing in the sunshine

We’re all in this together

More than 180 people attended our event over the course of eight hours from early afternoon to late evening, which took over 20 staff and volunteers to set up and over 40 performers to fill with the sound of great music, practical workshops and spoken word.

Members came together from the four corners of our community to celebrate the supportive environment we’ve built to promote positive mental health. Our volunteers helped set up the outdoor and indoor stages, capture photographs and video of the day, attend the entrance and manage sound and lighting. We’re incredibly proud and thankful for all the help our volunteers gave on the day, especially Nicola for her help organising the ‘Poems, Prose & Pints’ stage and Stevie for running the EcoX Music Project drum clinic stage,  both of which added new dimensions to this year’s event.

Denise sat playing drums

Denise playing at Stevie's drum clinic

Talent and performance

The day wouldn’t have happened without the support of local artists and Orb members who kindly came along to perform:

  • Our friends from the Harrogate Mind Acorn Centre
  • Orb’s resident band Brew Ha Ha which grew out of friendship, skills and support at Orb
  • Orb member Vaughn’s first live performance of a song he produced at Orb with help from Josh
  • Local bands who gave their time for free including Salt Lick Kitty, Japanese Fighting Fish, Rory Hoy, Lobo, Ridley Barbett and The Complaints (sorry if we’ve forgotten to name anyone!)
  • Orb member Pete’s inimitable gritty performance of streetwise hip-hop

Building upon the success of his first sensational drum clinic, Stevie’s breakout session was well attended, with 25 audience members opting to drop in for a spot of showcased talent including drumming by Stevie himself, Denise his protégé and a spot of percussion-lead audience participation.

Mayor Bill Hoult stood speaking at a microphone stand

Mayor Bill Hoult: we're proud to be one of his chosen charities

The cherry on the cake for us was when Harrogate mayor Bill Hoult dropped by to say a few words and champion our cause as his mayoral charity.

We’re extremely grateful for our opportunity to host an event at FEVA. The day was a tremendous success only because of the dedication, support and kindness from our community which helped to deliver not only great entertainment but a positive platform for creative people from a vulnerable section of society to express themselves.

What did you think?

We thought it was brilliant and you can see our event photographs from Orb at FEVA here on the blog or on our Facebook fan page. We’d love to see your photographs too: post them on our Facebook wall or let us know what you thought of the day.

This blog article was written by Chris Kenworthy: copywriter and photographer