One of the best parts of being based in so many locations is that Safestore is never very far from worthy and interesting charities and causes. This week, we wanted to tell you about Greenbelt, who are working towards making the world a better place. We support Greenbelt by supplying them with storage free of charge, which allows them to store their festival gear including 8 rather weird items.

Greenbelt is an annual festival – but not just any festival. Running since 1974, this festival has, at its heart, the idea that Christian values combined with political ideals and a sense of justice can bring together a diverse range of artists and festival-goers who want to celebrate life and build hope, tolerance and dialogue. Music, poetry, comedy, visual and performing arts, talks and discussions are delivered amidst a strong sense of community and togetherness with the overall aim of using spirituality as a form of non-violent activism. 

History of Greenbelt

When Greenbelt began in 1974, it celebrated the arts as a gift from God; by the 1980s, the festival’s focus had shifted slightly to take account of the overall feeling within the UK that more could be done to ease suffering and oppression not only in the UK but abroad too. They had talks from a Nicaraguan minister, anti-apartheid South African activists and a Palestinian priest. It changed its emphasis again in the 1990s to become broader in its appeal, embracing artists who were not necessarily Christian but who had similar visions to those embraced by the festival – namely justice, tolerance and hope. 

Numbers of Greenbelters grew from 2,000 in 1974 to over 20,000 in the 1980s, but the festival ran into difficulties in the 1990s when numbers declined and a succession of wet bank holiday weekends made the festival impractical. In 1999 the festival changed location to Cheltenham Racecourse, and numbers began to increase again. After returning to a green-field location in Boughton House estate in 2013, numbers are continuing to grow. 

When and where 

The festival takes place over the August bank holiday weekend each year in the grounds of Boughton Estate, just outside Kettering and roughly in between our stores in Bedford, Leicester, Milton Keynes and Coventry, and easily accessible from the A14, or by train from London St Pancras, Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham or Leicester. Tickets are widely available and discounted (and even free) tickets are often available throughout the year to enable people of all backgrounds and financial means to attend if they wish.

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