#WiganDiggersFest – Final Running Order Announced for Saturday’s 4th Festival

It’s been twelve months in the making, and here it is at last, this year’s final Wigan Diggers’ Festival programme.

The organisers believe it has all the makings of our biggest and best yet, as well as an enjoyable, fun day out for everyone.

In brief: A feast of 24 excellent bands, duos, solo artists, poets and other performers (amongst them two radical choirs), a historical digging re-enactment, a puppet show, arts project tent, two educational talks, town centre procession, plus over 50 book, food and other stalls, not least of which, our ever popular “Occupie Wigan” Beer Tent serving our own specially commissioned and locally brewed (Allgates) Gerrard Winstanley Ale, (Prospect) Diggers 1649 Ale, (Holts) Resistance is Fertile Lager, and a range of other excellent beers, ciders and perry.

The event will be officially opened by John McDonnell MP at 12.00noon.

Check out our Twitter feed @WiganDigger or our Facebook Page at: https://www.facebook.com/wigandiggersfestival for the very latest news.

4th Wigan Diggers' Festival Final Programme

4th Wigan Diggers’ Festival Final Programme

Still not sure what this Diggers thing is all about? Then listen to this excellent version of Leon Rosselson’s “The World Turned Upside Down” by the Barracudas from 1985. It tells (almost) the entire Diggers’ story in 3 mins 46 seconds. Definitely worth a listen if you want to get in the mood for the Festival on Saturday in Gerrard Winstanley’s home town.

Maxine Peake presented with 2014 ‘Gerrard Winstanley Spade Award’ #WiganDiggersFest

Maxine Peake on receiving the Wigan Diggers’ Festival Award on 07/09/14.

Maxine: “this is better than any Oscar or any BAFTA …..”

On Sunday local award winning actress Maxine Peake, who is currently playing the lead role in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, was presented with this year‘s “Gerrard Winstanley Spade Award” presented annually by the Wigan Diggers’ Festival committee.

The accolade is for her “outstanding contribution to the cause of making the Earth a common treasury for all” in the spirit of Winstanley and the Diggers’ movement, and follows on from another recent award to the locally born actor, by Bolton Socialist Club, for her “outstanding contribution to Socialism” in the shape of a Honorary Life Membership of the club.

Appearing on the BBC’s Culture Show last year, Maxine — known for her roles in Silk, Shameless, Dinnerladies and The Village, and who is the holder of a Broadcasting Press Guild Award — spoke of the influence of her grandfather’s left wing politics, and how these helped shape her view of the World.

Last year, she also wrote and performed in a play on Radio 4 about the occupation of Parkside Colliery at Newton-le-Willows by women led by Anne Scargill back in 1994.

Speaking on behalf of the Diggers’ committee, their media spokesperson Stephen Hall said: “Maxine Peake is someone who has remained true to her socialist principles. Despite her growing fame as an actor, she has never lost touch with her working class roots. Instead, she has used her notoriety and work as an actor to speak out against the government’s ‘crippling austerity measures’, and to support protests against them.

“She has also helped in recent years, to revive interest in the annual Peterloo Massacre commemoration event in Manchester, is a Trustee of the Working Class Movement Library in Salford, and supports numerous other progressive causes. She even worked as a volunteer and served behind the bar at our second Diggers’ festival” (shown below) Mr Hall said.

Actors James Quinn, John Graham Davies & Maxine Peake serve the first pints of Gerrard Winstanley and Diggers 1649 Ales at the 2nd Wigan Diggers' Festival in 2012

Actors James Quinn, John Graham Davies & Maxine Peake serve the first pints of Gerrard Winstanley and Diggers 1649 Ales at the 2nd Wigan Diggers’ Festival in 2012

“In our view she’s an unsung hero, and a jewel of the British Left, and someone we should all want to treasure as a big asset to the movement for social equality and social justice in this country.

“It’s on this basis, and her absolutely fantastic and much acclaimed reciting of Percy Shelley’s poem “The Masque of Anarchy” (written shortly after the Peterloo Massacre) at last year’s Manchester International Festival, that we decided to present her with our own version of an ‘Oscar’ in the shape of our annual Gerrard Winstanley Spade Award, the first ever one of which we presented to veteran Labour MP Tony Benn last year.

“Sadly, Tony is no longer with us, and is a huge loss. We’re hoping Maxine will be around for very many years to come.” Mr. Hall said.

Coverage in last week’s Wigan Evening Post:

Maxine Peake "Jewel of the Left"

Maxine Peake “Jewel of the British Left”

2014 Diggers’ Festival – Site Map

4th Wigan Diggers' Festival Site Map

Click graphic for larger image

This year’s festival site map, providing a guide to stall holders, the location of activities and various site amenities.

Note for stallholders: please report to the Diggers’ Festival HQ Tent on arrival, which should ideally be before 10.00am on Saturday, and BEFORE setting up your stall.

Thank you.

Invitation to the 4th Wigan Diggers’ Festival – Saturday 13th September 2014 – 11.00am – 9.30pm – The Wiend – Wigan

Stephen Hall:

Only ten days to go our 4th Wigan Diggers’ Festival. #WiganDiggersFest

Originally posted on Wigan Diggers' Festival:

An invitation to, and  details of this year’s Wigan Diggers’ Festival on Saturday 13th September. #WiganDiggersFest

The event will take place between 11.00am and 9.30pm in The Wiend area of Wigan town centre. (see location map below)

The organisers are promising another free all day fun packed open air event to commemorate Wigan born Gerrard Winstanley (1609-1676) and the 17th Century “Diggers” (True Leveller) movement.

Winstanley and they famously asserted: “The Earth was made a common treasury for all, irrespective of person!” and are described by Tony Benn as “the first true Socialists”.

Last year’s festival was another resounding success with over 2,000 people attending during the course of the day. We hope this year’s will be too.


Wigan Diggers' Festival Poster

2014 DIGGERS’ FESTIVAL PERFORMERS

The day’s running order has yet to be fully finalised, however, confirmed as performing are:

BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners: The Lucy Ward Band

Merry Hell

Jade Assembly

Run…

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Invitation to the 4th Wigan Diggers’ Festival – Saturday 13th September 2014 – 11.00am – 9.30pm – The Wiend – Wigan

An invitation to, and  details of this year’s Wigan Diggers’ Festival on Saturday 13th September. #WiganDiggersFest

The event will take place between 11.00am and 9.30pm in The Wiend area of Wigan town centre. (see location map below)

The organisers are promising another free all day fun packed open air event to commemorate Wigan born Gerrard Winstanley (1609-1676) and the 17th Century “Diggers” (True Leveller) movement.

Winstanley and they famously asserted: “The Earth was made a common treasury for all, irrespective of person!” and are described by Tony Benn as “the first true Socialists”.

Last year’s festival was another resounding success with over 2,000 people attending during the course of the day. We hope this year’s will be too.


Wigan Diggers' Festival Poster

2014 DIGGERS’ FESTIVAL PERFORMERS

The day’s running order has yet to be fully finalised, however, confirmed as performing are:

BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners: The Lucy Ward Band

Merry Hell

Jade Assembly

Run Out The Guns

Second Hand Wings

Liverpool Socialist Singers 

Bolton Clarion Choir 

Laura Taylor

Ian Whiteley

Joan Blackburn

Pray for the Weekend 

Avital Raz

Our Morals 

Tony Kinsella 

Anvil Steel Drums 

Ken Scally 

Joy France 

Black Velvet 

Maelor l’anson-Hughes 

Terry Kinney

Means to an End

Jefferama

Gordon Zola

John McDonnell MP, Chair of the Labour Representation Committee and Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs will officially open this year’s Diggers’ Festival on 13th September. He will also talk about the lasting influence of Gerrard Winstanley & ‘The Diggers’ on today’s working class movement.

Author and TV Documentary film maker David Malone will be giving a talk on the influence of Gerrard Winstanley’s ideas on the later radical thinkers of the French & American Revolutions.

Actor John Graham Davies will once again play the role of Diggers leader, and historic Wiganer, Gerrard Winstanley, in a symbolic digging re-enactment at around 11.30am in The Wiend area, close to The Face of Wigan statue.

There will also be a puppet show telling of the story of the 17th Century Diggers and an all day children’s arts and craft area.

All the above of course is in addition to 40 or more food, book and other stalls and our ever popular “Occu-pie Wigan” beer tent.

More details to follow a.s.a.p:

See also our facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/WiganDiggersFestival

If you would like to book a stall for your organisation, community group, co-operative or small business then please download the file via the link provided, complete as appropriate, and then return to the address provided.

http://wigandiggersfestival.org/booking-a-stall/diggers-stall-application

More details to follow a.s.a.p:

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/550650368389097/

Twitter: @WiganDigger  #WiganDiggersFest

Location Map

Wigan Diggers' Festival Site Map

Diggers’ Festival Programme Announced

Wigan Band Merry Hell top jam packed Bill at FREE FESTIVAL on 7th September!

(Revised Running Order – due to earlier ending time and change of one of the bands in the earlier announced bill.)

11.00 – 11.15 Assemble – The Wiend area (accompanied by singing by The Liverpool Socialist Singers)

11.15 – 11.35 Town Centre Parade with PCS Samba Band

11.35 – 12.00 St. George’s Hill Digging Re-enactment in The Wiend area with actor John Graham Davies as Gerrard Winstanley. Accompanied by The Liverpool Socialist Singers

12.00 – 12.20 Official Opening including presentation to Tony Benn – Main Stage

12.20 – 12.45 Durham Scratch Choir – who will perform the premiere of a suite of choral works of Gerrard Winstanley’s writings set to music – Main Stage

12.45 – 1.00 Diggers’ Puppet Show – Wigan Diggers’ Festival Arts Project Hub area.

12.45 – 1.10 SOLO ARTIST: Planet Al – Acoustic Stage

1.10 – 1.50 BAND: Our Fold – Main Stage

1.50 – 2.15 DUO: Song & Story – Acoustic Stage

1.50 – 2.15 Comedy Spot in The John Bull Chophouse pub with John Graham Davies & James Quinn followed by a poetry spot featuring Alison Down & Jean Gittins

2.15 – 2.55 DUO: Our Morals – Main Stage

2.15 – 3.45 Film Showing of The Conditions of the Working Class (83mins) in Wigan Life Centre

2.55 – 3.20 POET: Joy France – Acoustic Stage

3.00 – 3.45 TALK on Gerrard Winstanley “A Digger’s Life & Legacy” by Dr John Gurney in Gallimore’s Restaurant

3.20 – 4.00 BAND: Run Out of Guns – Main Stage

3.45 – 4.20 TALK on “The Influence of Wigan & Wiganers on the ideas of Gerrard Winstanley” by Derek Winstanley in Gallimore’s Restaurant

4.00 – 4.25 SOLO ARTIST: Avital Raz – Acoustic Stage

4.25 – 4.50 POET: Laura Taylor – Main Stage

4.50 – 5.15 SOLO ARTIST: Ken Scally – Acoustic Stage

5.15 – 5.55 BAND: Dead Shores – Main Stage

5.55 – 6.20 POET: Jeffarama – Acoustic Stage

6.20 – 7.00 BAND: John The Baptist & The 2nd Coming – Main Stage

7.00 – 7.25 SOLO ARTIST: Derek Ecclestone – Acoustic Stage

7.25 – 7.55 DUO: Class Actions – Main Stage

7.55 – 8.20 SOLO ARTIST: Pauline Blackburn – Acoustic Stage

8.20 – 9.30 BAND: Merry Hell – Main Stage

9.30 Finish at The Wiend

…AND IT’S ALL FREE!!

10.00 onwards Wigan Diggers’ Festival After Party at The Tudor House Hotel, Newmarket Street, Wigan.

Tony Benn hopeful of attending Festival

LATEST NEWS: Veteran Left-winger Tony Benn hopes to attend our 3rd Diggers’ Festival on the 7th September to receive the first ‘Gerrard Winstanley Spade’ award – our festival’s equivalent of an ‘Oscar’ in the shape of small brass spade mounted along with an engraved plaque in a framed display case.

Though ill-health may still yet prevent him from attending, he has spoken of his pride of being honoured with the award, by the festival’s organising committee, for “an outstanding contribution to making the Earth a common treasury for all in the spirit of Gerrard Winstanley, leader of the Diggers.”

We look forward to presenting it to him at the festival, and if that doesn’t prove possible, doing so soon afterwards, at a time and place convenient to him.

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If you are planning on coming to the Festival, then please indicate so on our Facebook Festival event page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/119823771527873/