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Performers prepare for the Soundwave Festival

Scarborough Soundwave Festival

The clouds parted and the sun shone for one afternoon and Scarborough Soundwave 2004!

Five years ago, a group of teenagers from across North Yorkshire got so sick of watching the rest of the summer festivals pass them by, they decided to put on one of their own.

Thus, DIY Collective was born. Now an extremely successful and efficient charity, and sponsored by Scarborough Festival of Youth Arts, DIY's traditional August festival is coming into its own.

Soundwave this year was more eagerly anticipated than ever before, with many more local bands appearing, and American group Anti-Product booked as the headlining act.

Young people in their hundreds descended upon the South Bay Spa Complex from 1pm onwards for ten hours of live music, workshops and burgers, and even as a latecomer I could tell everyone there was having a fantastic time.

Soundwave is a unique summer event, most noticeably because the majority of those involved in performing on the day have also been active in setting it up.

DIY has a points system for members. When you attend progress meetings you gain points, and those with a specific number of points at the end of the planning stage are given a slot at the festival itself.

DIY Collective is all about learning. Young people are encouraged to be independent in planning large scale events, and are given regular opportunities to discuss their individual and united progress at meetings.

Scarborough Festival of Youth Arts have given the teens support from the very beginning, helping them in fund-raising and also, through a team of dedicated youth workers, provided advice on how to go about making their ideas come to life.

However, despite the scheme's obvious popularity, it could all be coming to an end very soon. Festival of Youth Arts is expected to fold at the end of September, with most of its key employees being made redundant, unless someone steps in with enough money to supply a wage for one permanent youth worker.

Although DIY is not directly linked to Festival of Youth Arts, most of its members are under eighteen, and need some sort of stable source to turn to for advice.

Without the larger group, DIY will lack the adult face that often means they are taken seriously instead of being turned away, and many of its projects, including Soundwave itself, could fall apart.

With the fate of the organisation hanging in the balance, there was a poignant air to the Soundwave festival this year, with many of those involved all too aware of the problems that lie ahead for them.

Having fun at Soundwave
Soundwave performers
On stage at Soundwave
A bloke on a unicycle
LISTEN
Hear an interview with Gaby Naptali, one of the organisers, and two young of the people involved.

The Artists' Quarter Travel News


Tish Longworth

TISH LONGWORTH
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