Greenbelt Festival proves huge success

A HUGELY successful Greenbelt Festival took place this year at Cheltenham Race Course on August bank holiday. Alongside enthusiastically received performances from, amongst others, Earthsuit, Bottlerockit and the final gig by the Dum Dums, Nicky Nicholls of Christian Aid commended Greenbelters as "the most committed group of people that we worked with" on the Drop The Debt campaign. She described their new campaign, Trade For Life, launched at Greenbelt, as 20 times bigger than Drop The Debt. "That was $100bn that we hopefully have written off. Trade For Life is $700bn a year. That was a one-off. This is happening all the time. This is affecting who's poor and who's rich."

Greenbelt was a financial success, with attendances - including the 1,500 volunteers that run the festival - reaching the licence limit of 10,000, the first capacity crowd since 1984. This has wiped £50,000 off the festival debt. The organisers hope to increase the licence for next year and repay the entire debt by 2003. Despite Greenbelts bank balance, the offering at the communion service was all given away. Of the £43,000 raised, including tax relief, 90 per cent went to Christian Aid and 10 per cent to arts projects around the world.

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