All too often, it seems, we don’t get to hand over our big cheque until some time after the headline act has gone home, made the tea and put the cat out. But that certainly wasn’t the case at Worthing’s wonderful One Love Festival in the Assembly Hall last weekend.
Not long after the samba drummers had done their deafening thing, just after the superb soul singer and immediately before the splendid school choir, One Love organiser Luke Angel invited me up onto the stage to hand over the money. Perfect! We had an audience! I told them that we’d given funding for the event and they burst into spontaneous, happy applause. Unaccustomed to such rich reward for our humble efforts, I almost got carried away and briefly considered a chorus of “One world is enough for all of us”. Fortunately, I remembered that I was supposed to be asking everyone to put their old clothes and shoes into our recycling bins and I couldn’t make that fit the tune.
But the One World Festival is the sort of event that makes you want to sing. Some people were dancing. Some were just milling around the stalls and feasting on the international cuisine. We met people from all sorts of backgrounds; people who have made their home in Worthing and love it every bit as much as we do. We even met Luke’s father who, it turns out, was not re-arming the Death Star in a galaxy far far away but handing out leaflets for his Museum of Gardening in Hassocks.
A festival celebrating tolerance, diversity and inclusivity? It always sounded like something we might want to be associated with. And it was. Maybe I’ll sing at the next one.
We will be at a number of events this summer, come and say hello!