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27 August 2011

Greenbelt Festival 2011 kicks off

Greenbelt Festival 2011 kicks off

Greenbelt festival kicked off on Friday with thousands of campers, performers, theologians, writers and comedians gathering on Cheltenham Racecourse for the weekend.

Some 20,000 people attend the event annually for a rich programme of visual and performing arts, spirituality, comedy and talks.

Highlights this year include performances from Billy Bragg and Mavis Staples, as well as talks from Rob Bell and Brian McLaren.

The festival has been going for 37 years and is firmly rooted within a Christian tradition which is "world-affirming, politically and culturally engaged".

Say the organisers: "Ours is a belief that embraces instead of excludes."

Politician Clare Short, who has spoken at the event previously said: "I was deeply impressed by the mood and spirit of the festival. Most people were Christians and almost all had some religious faith but there was absolutely no dogmatism. Everyone was welcome and there was a shared spirit of belief in justice and caring."

Throughout the weekend, we will be posting stories from the festival:

Faith communities 'vital', says former home secretary 

From Bill Mason Band to Dalit Candles 

Youngsters reversing negative press