The Byline Fest returns to Pippngford Park in East Sussex again from the 23rd-26th August.

I interviewed the co-founder Stephen Colgrave.

Lyn  When did the Byline Fest start?

Stephen  This is our third year.

Lyn  How did you get involved with it?

Stephen  I decided to set up the festival with my co-founder Peter Jukes because we felt that after the election of Trump and the Referendum that we all needed better journalism and to get people to engage with politics and activism but we wanted to also make it a fun and exciting festival

IMGLyn  What makes it different? What is the theme of it?

Stephen  Our tagline is Dance Discuss Laugh and Change The World – it is a fun and insuring festival that has a propose – everyone is welcome and there is fun for families and kids but we also have 3 talk tents with journalists, broadcasters, MPs and experts as well as music, comedy, immersive experiences, workshops and family activities.

Lyn  What made you choose Pippingford Park?

Stephen  It is a beautiful venue and not too far from London but feels in the middle of nowhere…

Lyn  Who is appearing there this year & how long ago did you have to book them?

Stephen  Pussy Riot, The Feeling, Suggs, Lowkey, Matt Bianco, Kevin Rowland, Jerry Dammers, The Priscillas, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Bonnie Greer, Carole Cadwalladr, Salena Godden and Gina Miller are just part of our 80 music acts, 300 speakers and 22 Poets and 18 comics  – we also have 100 workshops. We work on this all year and are already lining people up f0r next year

Lyn  Do the music acts have the same beliefs  & opinions or are they neutral?

Stephen  All the music acts share our wish for people to be better informed and to change the world. They tend to know them all personally. We never book through agents.

IMGLyn  Is everyone who attends like-minded or do you get some heated discussions?

Stephen  Usually people agree on the problem but usually argue and discuss the solutions!

Lyn  What do you hope that everyone will say when they’re leaving?

Stephen  We hope that everyone leaves saying that they found something out they didn’t know before and want to find out more.

Lyn  What plans do you have for next year, or will you wait and see?

Stephen  Its under wraps for now…but the festival tends to react to events so this year Extinction Rebellion is the most important part of the festival..

Lyn  Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Stephen  We have Extinction Rebellion Rebellion bringing their Rebel Rebel Stage and their co-founder Roger Hallam is speaking and they are also training activists at the festival.

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