Celebrating the music: part II

Thank you for the musicThank you for the music

In the second of two articles celebrating the return of Music in Wanstead Park this month, event manager Calum Downie explains why he has taken on the project and what we can expect on the day.

In June 2017 I graduated from the University of Kent with a degree in history and drama. Like most graduates, I had some very big decisions to make with regard to my future. I wasn't ready for further education but my university experience did show me that I wanted to break into the arts production industry. While studying, I wrote a series of plans for plays and events, thinking long and hard about how I could make them a success, and one of these was Music in Wanstead Park. Having grown up attending the event, it was something I believe the community deserved to have back, having ended in 2016.

Music in Wanstead Park is the first event I have organised in its entirety and a stepping stone into the industry I want to build a career in. As event manager, all the decisions and responsibilities fall on my shoulders, which is why I'm working so hard to make it a success. What makes it a success is simple. You need a venue, food, drinks, activities for families and children, commercial craft stalls and, of course, music. What our guests will experience and enjoy on the day is only a tiny part of the work we have put in.

The difficulties of organising an event of this size comes in liaising and bringing all these elements together. For the last six months, I have written countless emails, letters and applications to ensure all the different agencies and businesses are working together to achieve our aims. With just a few weeks to go, I am very excited and proud of what we have achieved so far and the experience has been truly invaluable.

At the time of writing this (mid-June), I am happy to have finished the legal process for the event, and knowing we have the support of Redbridge Council and Epping Forest means I can pour all my remaining energy into making the event enjoyable for our guests.

So, what can you expect? While it is called Music in Wanstead Park, it's fundamentally a community and family event and we want that to shine through on the day. Joining us this year are a number of local businesses, such as Time for Tea, The Wanstead Tap, The Cocktail Van and Squid Inc. For our younger guests, there will be fairground rides, Punch and Judy shows and a circus skills school to name a few. As always, the musical talent of Wanstead is at the forefront of the event. Wanstead High School bands will be kicking things off while Tricity Vogue and 40 Elephant Gang will be rocking us into the night.

Organising Music in Wanstead Park has become part of my everyday life recently and when it is over I will miss it. I have done all I can to bring this event together. The only thing missing is you! I hope to see you all there.

Music in Wanstead Park will take place on 14 July from 2pm to 9.30pm (adults: £12; children: £6). Visit wavidi.co/miwp

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