What would Winstanley say we should do now?

In the midst of a continuing global Covid-19 pandemic (during Winstanley’s time it was the “Black Death”) climate crisis, worsening housing crisis, attacks on our right to protest, attacks on our health service, the cash for honours scandal and an increasingly corrupt Government additionally guilty of criminally negligent manslaughter. Also, the potential of Scotland voting for independence and lots of other problems facing us. Stephen Hall, one of the founders of the Diggers’ Festival, asks the question: “What would Winstanley say we should do now”? What might he call for in a 2021 version of “The Law of Freedom in a platform?” How might his writings and actions of 1648-52 guide us today? Starts at 12.15pm.

Stephen hopes to kick off a lively and fruitful discussion by the audience.

Click https://fb.me/e/YGZpJKYv for the Facebook Event page.

George Monbiot to receive Gerrard Winstanley Spade Award for 2021

Controversial Guardian columnist and environmental activist George Monbiot is to receive this year’s Diggers’ Festival “Gerrard Winstanley Spade” award for his ‘outstanding contribution’ to the cause of making the Earth a common treasury for all, in the spirit of the 17th Century Wiganer in whose memory the award is named. 

The award has previously been presented to the late veteran Labour MP Tony Benn, Film Director Ken Loach, Writer Jimmy McGovern and local actor-activist Maxine Peake. 

Our first Gerrard Winstanley Spade in 2013 was awarded to Tony Benn. In addition to everything else he did, he helped to populise Winstanley’s writings in his later life and described the 17th Century Diggers as England’s “first true socialists”. As Tony was too ill to travel to our festival to receive the award in person, and sadly died before we were able to formally present it to him, the Spade was later received by Tony’s son Hilary Benn (shown below) on behalf of Tony’s family.
Hilary Benn, Ken Loach, Maxine Peake & Jimmy McGovern

Homeless campaigner Pauline Town and ‘We Shall Overcome’ musician, activist and campaigner Joe Solo are two more recent recipients.

This year’s award is also presented in recognition of George Monbiot’s ongoing fight, as his own website states: against “environmental destruction, undemocratic power, corruption, deception of the public, injustice, inequality and the misallocation of resources, waste, denial, the libertarianism which grants freedom to the powerful at the expense of the powerless….” and more recently his powerful advocacy of the need to overthrow Capitalism to stop the impending climate catastrophe. (See clips below)

On 1 April 1999, on the 350th anniversary of Gerrard Winstanley and the Diggers’ occupation, George Monbiot was famously involved in the organisation of  a rally and occupation of land at St. Georges Hill, near Weybridge, Surrey. (See Clip below)

George is absolutely delighted to be receiving the award, and had intended to be with us on Saturday to accept it in person. However, as he is now sadly unable to come to this year’s Festival, the Festival Committee will be organising a special event in Wigan later in the year to which George has agreed he will come to receive the award and additionally give us a talk on a subject yet to be decided. He has also agreed he will provide us with a short video for our social media platforms. Watch this space

More Volunteers still needed!

We’ve had a good response to our previous appeal for volunteers to help out for 4 hours or more over the weekend of Saturday 11th September, not only on the day of the festival itself, but also on Friday the 10th to help prepare the festival site, and on Sunday the 12th to help clear up the site. That said, we still need a fair few more on the day of the festival to ensure its smoothing running, so can you help us? If so, please fill in our Wigan Diggers’ Festival Volunteer Application Form and let us know as soon as you can. Ta.

Volunteers

Volunteers wanted for this year’s festival

We are looking for volunteers to help out with this year’s festival on the 11th September 2021, we need people to help build the festival site on the Friday and take it all down again on the Sunday, we really could do with some extra help doing this, it’s a big job, and we need some lovely people to help us out.

Also, on the day itself we need volunteers for various jobs, everything from working behind the bar, help with stewarding the festival site, collecting rubbish throughout the day or helping behind the stage. Hours would be to suit you on the day.

Any help would be really appreciated, please email us via wigandiggers@gmail.com

Please include your full name and contact details, so we can get back to you by email or phone if needed.

Thank you,

Wigan Diggers’ Committee.

Wigan Diggers’ Festival 11th September 2021

Due to last year’s festival being postponed because of the situation with Covid, we hope you will help us make the 10th Wigan Diggers’ Festival this year, one to remember. Full details of line-up etc to follow shortly. Stay safe people and we hope to see you all at this year’s festival, it’s going to be a cracker.

Here’s a memory from 2019’s headliners ‘The Men They Couldn’t Hang‘, with the wonderful Joe Solo joining them on stage, sadly we lost guitarist and vocalist Stefan Cush earlier this year, he will be greatly missed and he will always live on in our hearts and in his music…

10th Wigan Diggers’ Festival – Saturday 12th September 2020

PUT THE DATE DOWN IN YOUR DIARY NOW!

10thWDFPoster

Here, earlier than usual are the details of everyone who will be performing at this year’s landmark 10th Diggers’ Festival. Topping the bill are festival favourites Merry Hell who will be complemented by an excellent line up of acts including Headsticks, Joe Solo, Ukepunk, the Corrie Shelley Band, Barnstormer 1649, Bard Company, Brandon Lee Webb Band, Bathtub Gin Band, Rare Ould Times, Jimmy Andrex, Hadrian’s Union, The Quaintest Show on Earth, Lesley Dawson-Heath, Simon Williams, Jethro Platts, and Isaac Hughes-Dennis. Let’s also not forget Wigan’s own True Levellers Community Samba Band. Come and join us – it’s FREE to attend and always a great do!

The details of the various fringe events, including talks in Wigan Parish Church are yet to be finalised and will be advertised in due course.

Please share our Facebook page with your friends and let us know your coming at: https://www.facebook.com/events/465445411071592/

Your Chance to Perform at the 2020 Wigan Diggers’ Festival!

wdf9announcementsDear Friends,

We are now encouraging applications to perform at next year’s 10th Wigan Diggers’ Festival, which will take place on Saturday 12th September 2020.

If you think you might be able to add something special to what we hope will be a terrific line-up, then please download our Application Form, fill it in and and send it back to us at: diggersstageentertainment@gmail.com by 15th NOVEMBER 2019.

We look forward to hearing from you, and hope you might be able to help make it our biggest and best festival yet!

 

Wigan Diggers’ Festival Committee