Festival Legends

5 Jul

Six members of RASAG turned out on Saturday to perform at Gleadless Valley International Festival and Sharrow Fringe Festival.   We entertained festival goers with varied content including our resident Iranian artist’s “Hello Salaam” song which calls for Freedom for everyone and a sad story which ends with the teller being left in the middle of nowhere with a dead child in a suitcase…

Performing at Sharrow Festival

At both festivals the MC’s introduction left alot to be desired, but we attracted a respectable ammount of people and made it clear who we were, what the aim of our group was, that we were funded by Summer of Sanctuary and what that initiative is all about.

As usual, Firas was the star of the group, telling his own stories with confidence and ease.  Everyone put in a great performance however, joining in the singing and drumming and supporting each other on the stage.  It was great to see colleagues and students from Learn For Life where the RASAG group formed supporting us in the crowd.


These performances have taken us to the end of our Summer of Sanctuary funding which has been used very successfully to engage over 20 refugees and asylum seekers over the entire project, with at least 15 more expressing an interest in taking part but not being able to this time around.  Out of the 15 expected to attend the workshop nine made it on the day made up of six men and three women and a fabulous seven different nationalities.  Only one of the workshop attendees never performed and this was very understandable due to immigration issues – he told me he had cried when he saw the pictures of performances that he had not been able to attend and he was truly missed on every occassion that we performed.  However, as we accomadated people who had not been able to attend the workshop but wanted to be involved in performances, we had 11 different performers over our seven performances – a very pleasing turnout!

Legends has acheived a lot on many different levels, but the most notable and pleasing changes in the participants are the unquantifiable “soft skills” – from responding to the compere at the Assist Concert shouting “how are you feeling?” with “Confident!”, to a member who felt isolated realising that he now has friends – these things may not be measurable, but they are so valuable.

The Legends exhibition will be available to view at the RASAG Big Lunch which is happening on 18th July at the Sharrow Old Junior School in collaboration with the Summer Flea Market and Sharrow Chef of the Year – more on that to follow soon.


Details of both the RASAG Big Lunch and the overall event can be found on page 11 of July’s Sharrow Today.



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