Festival organisers grab land and launch the world’s first festival micronation
The founders of the new Sunrise Another World festival – to take place 30th May till 2ndJune – recently claimed land for the festival outside the market town of Frome on the Wiltshire-Somerset borders, planting their flag in the tradition of true pioneers to establish the world’s first festival micronation –a free independent state dedicated to creating a more sustainable and joyful world.
Sunrise have founded their micronation with the aim of creating a ready-made paradise on earth, where ethical principals can dance hand in hand with the spirit of love, unity and celebration.
Alex Lepingwell, one of the founders of Sunrise Another World (the exciting new incarnation of the Sunrise Celebration festival) explained:
“A Micronation is an unofficial independent state, as yet unrecognised by world governments or major international organisations. The ethos and principles of our new Sunrise free nation are directly translated into the delivery of our festival. We are committed to best environmental practice, to the free expression of creativity, to self-responsibility and non-violent communication and to celebrating our commitment to changing our world into a fairer, better and more just place for everyone.
“Like all nations, the Sunrise Micronation has the right to issue passports, currency, honours and operate an embassy. Like other nations, it can and will produce its own bill of rights, pass its own laws and create its own form of government.”
The Sunrise Micronation is dedicated to supporting the local community of Frome. On Saturday, the founders officially launched the Micronation at the Pop Up Shop on Paul Street in Frome, inviting local artists, musicians and performers to sign up for the festival, and offering local businesses the chance to supply materials and services for the event and to be involved with the greater cause.
At the start of the launch on Saturday, the Sunrise Micronation founders – Alex Lepingwell, Daniel Hurring and Jeff Luther – gathered before the railings on Paul Street, together with the local mayor – like traditional orators looking over the expectant crowd gathered on the street below on Catherine Hill – and welcomed the people of Frome to join the Sunrise Micronation.
Alex Lepingwell said:
“Today we have planted our seeds in the fertile ground of Frome and we look forward to reaping the benefits of long term association and enduring relationship with this wonderful town. We believe Frome will help us grow our new micronation into the sustainable superpower we would like it to be.”
Pippa Goldfinger, Mayor of Frome, said:
“A big welcome to all – Frome is a lovely town, so a good choice for the Sunrise Micronation. We believe in Frome town council that things operating on a large scale stop working. Largeness can crush people. We need to allow and nurture creativity and use local connections and expertise. We can’t rely on big businesses and governments anymore. Economically, we need to look to ourselves to make things work and work with small local suppliers like Sunrise.”
Pippa continued: “The idea of a micronation is an interesting challenge to the slothful heavy hand of national government. How much can we create ourselves if given free rein? While central governments are useful for providing the big things in life, at a local level they needn’t interfere and a micronation can really help here to foster and make the most of local skills, talent and enthusiasm.”
Performances followed by local poets and musicians, including a stirring performance by The Zoa Drum Poets (Helen Moore and Niall McDevitt), who spliced drumming, chanting, and jangling tambourine play with evocative poetry reflecting on contemporary ecological and political issues.
Inside the Pop Up Shop, Sunrise founders entertained and met with local businesses and local performance artists over a glass of local Somerset punch and cheese. They also launched an adventurous “FIND THE FLAG” competition offering locals the chance to locate the secret new festival site and win festival tickets.
For more information about the Sunrise Another World festival and the Sunrise Micronation visit www.sunrisefestivals.co.uk
Sunrise launch photos by Alexandra Thompson