Now that we’re safely out of the winter months, the Smithdown Festival has officially kicked off!

Spanning the bank holiday weekend (Saturday the 30th of April to Monday the 2nd of May) the festival is a celebration of all things musical, cultural, Smithdown-y and various other adjectives! Of course, the majority of events are musical, and I would love to hate to steal my colleagues thunder, so I will leave the music coverage to them. Instead, I endeavoured to attend as many of the non-musical events as I could. Or I tried at least, given that I overslept like the overgrown man-child I am. Keeping that in mind, the following is all the awesome stuff that I did (and some I didn’t!) on Saturday.

I'm willing to bet that you didn't know this place even existed!

I bet that you didn’t know this place even existed!

It was difficult to find, but the Quaker Garden just off of Arundel Avenue was the first place I went. It’s a tranquil little place, and well maintained by the locals. A art exhibition and arts and crafts workshop was there, but it was wrapping up as I arrived. Luckily for me though, one volunteer (I didn’t catch her name unfortunately) showed me some of the gardens and explained to me how it had been overgrown until recently before volunteers helped to clear it up, plant trees, put in a pond and even keep bees. Apparently there is a community event every Sunday (festival or no festival damn it!) that is open to the public, so anyone who lives along Smithdown should definitely consider dropping by. Oh, and if you live in Kensington, sad day for you suckers!

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Stock photo yay!!

Next up was the Outdoor market behind the Brookhouse. The place was packed, which is unsurprising considering it was 5pm by the time I got there. That also meant that the market only had a couple of stalls left, but all specialised in quality items; from knit-work to handmade cards. I got a couple of greeting cards, but I felt I missed most of the stalls, so I will try to arrive at the next bazaar (at Kelly’s Dispensary on Monday) earlier.

Things got sketchier after that, as I tried to get into the Gregson Community Centre on Garmoyle Road – where screenings of classic Hitchcock movies were supposed to be held. Enlisting the aid of a nearby European guy wearing a rastacap, (……yeah don’t ask) I tried to get the attention of anyone inside – to no avail. Hopefully I can see Vertigo before Tuesday *sigh*.

That’s pretty much it for Saturday folks! I am a third year after all, so dissertation work beckoned me back to my laptop after that.

Other events that were on, on Saturday included a fundraising drive at Toxteth graveyard, and a Kid friendly street party at Garmoyle Road Community garden. Of course the many other events that I didn’t mention will be on the festival’s Facebook page, which gives a timeline of all the events on Sunday and Monday too. Wristbands are also available for discounts in bars and cafés along Smithdown through the bank holiday weekend.

(I may be back to cover Sunday……maybe).