On the first weekend of October every year, thousands of people in hundreds of locations across the UK get together to create community-led cultural events. Why not join in with your group?
'Fun Palaces' are events made by local people for their own communities, bringing together activities in the arts and sciences, crafts, tech and digital. Free and fun, last year over 126,000 people took part in the space of one weekend.
Why should you get involved?
The philosophy of Fun Palaces – bringing people together, celebrating creativity, and having fun learning new skills and sharing passions – is one that all leisure-time music groups share. We all know the benefits that participating in music making brings, and that the more people can get involved the better off we all are as communities and as individuals.
It's also a great opportunity to build engagement with your local community, bringing new supporters, participants and audiences to your group.
It doesn't have to be a big effort: if hosting a Fun Palace yourself is too difficult you could work with others to create one together or simply join in at an existing 'Palace' (for example, with a short performance or workshop).
It works like this. Someone shares their love of music by offering to teach a few bars on the guitar, another person teaches some tap dancing steps, someone else shares a passion for wildlife photography, an astrophysicist helps others learn more about the universe, and the karate club shares some simple skills. At the same time, neighbours talk to each other, or people find out they have skills they didn't know about ...
- Stella Duffy, Co-Director of Fun Palaces
What could you do?
A Fun Palace should be engaging, participatory, open to all in the community, and free. What you do is up to you, but the more creative you can be the better!
Once you've got an idea, visit the Fun Palaces website for lots of advice and tools to help you organise, fund and promote your event.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- A 'come and sing' event - help people learn a new song and perform together
- A 'learn to play' event - teach people how to strum, blow or pluck along with a familiar (or unfamiliar) tune
- 'Be the boss' - let members of the public have a go at conducting a piece with your group
- 'Be the composer' - help people write their own songs (and then maybe have the group sing them at the end!)
If you can't commit the time to run a whole event, there will be lots of existing Palaces whom you can contact and would be happy to include your group.
Find out more about Fun Palaces