The Encourage Festival is a celebration of abundant life through music, poetry, talks, film, crafts, food and workshops.

Sally Phillips comedian, actor and documentary maker (Miranda, Smack the Pony, A World without Downs Syndrome?) will be this year’s main guest speaker.

Sally Phillips (photo by Ruth Crafer)

The music line-up is headlined by the roof-raising Goat Roper Rodeo Band and stunning duo, Rue Royale.

Rue Royale

With just an upright bass, two old guitars and a bucketful of aching harmony,  the Goat Ropers( are preaching ‘Country Blues’ like you never heard… There’s a hint of Gram, a sniff of Dylan and a twist of Waylon’s blues.

Rue Royale developed from Ruth and Brookln Dekker’s transatlantic relationship – Ruth was raised to the beats of brit-pop and northern soul and Brookln to the unique harmonies of American folk and southern gospel. With numerous BBC 6Music and XFM plays the pair have showcased their unique brand of indie folk across Europe and the US and are about to release their fourth album made with Sean Carey (Bon Iver).

Goat Ropers Rodeo Band

Home grown in Staffs is Wildfire Folk, formed by Lichfield Arts as a Youth Ensemble to play music as it should be played – with enthusiasm, energy and style! Wildfire is bustling with great young talent and a fantastic sound – think raucous brass riffs against a lively tune on flutes and fiddles, grounded by funky percussion rhythms.

We are also delighted to welcome Christian musical trio, Anam Caras.

Anam Caras

A unique highlight is The Junk Orchestra, a marvellously inventive ensemble of musical instruments made from rubbish. Workshops will demonstrate how anyone can build their own orchestra for nothing

Wildfire Folk

The Encourage Festival theme of celebrating that we all have a part in living  life to the full will also be explored with a focus on food. Representatives from food waste charities will debate scarcity and abundance in our food economy and there will be cooking demonstrations throughout the day and a wide range of local foods, beers and ciders will be on sale.

The Junk Orchestra

Added attractions include a range of local artists and crafters including Revs vintage cars, face painting, wood working, upcycled gifts and more.

Tickets are available from and cost £20 per adult or £40 for a family ticket.