I have been offered another opportunity to write a blog for the Theatre Royal Plymouth. This time my rather wonderful colleagues at the Theatre have asked me to compile a top ten of the most fabulous reasons to attend the Funky Llama Festival 2015. My mum is making me a cup of tea so let’s get started…
The first of the major heavy weights of the Festival, the band are newcomers to the Llama Loud Stage and are travelling from North Wales. The band has one autistic member and is signed to a major record label, Sony RED USA. They will hopefully be with us for the entire festival so you should be able to meet them face to face. Like most of the bands mentioned on the list, their music is available to watch and listen to on YouTube.
Both this band and the Straight Jacket legends are my favourites to join Kyle Coleman and Mission to Lars in my list all-time Llama greats. The Traveling Time Wasters come from Cornwall and are mostly made up of people with autism. They have just released a new album and recently played at the first Funky Llama warm-up gig of 2015 at Varsity Nightclub. A very impressive and skilled band, on their new CD the band described themselves as promoting Autism.
One of the all-time greatest performers who we have had the pleasure to see on the Llama stage. Kyle also comes from Cornwall and is autistic. Kyle has another new album and will be returning to the Llama stage for the fourth time.
A new home for the festival and the first time a large-scale Llama event will be held in a mainstream venue. The 2015 festival also marks another chapter in the Funky Llama story. All previous large-scale events have been held at TR2, where they have treated us very well and many of the people in the Funky Llama community have become very familiar faces (don’t worry though, the people at TR2 who have helped us since 2013 will still be at the 2015 festival as we produce even more smiles than ever before).
The poet and artist is returning to the Festival for a second time. Many of last year’s audience were astounded by his presence on the Llama stage, both laughing and crying along with his poetic performance.
A Funky Llama mentored artist – a very energetic rapper working with Lacey from Plymouth Music Zone who has performed at virtually all of our Llama events so far. I have been assured that the rapper will be bringing new material to this year’s festival.
Another band making their debut on the Funky Llama stage. The inclusive band from Dawlish will be making their appearance at the festival at around 4.20pm on the Llama Loud stage.
A local band and newcomers to our festival. Their music is a mix of folk and alternative. Their very professional music video for “Out There” is available to see on YouTube. The video itself was made by Robert Doran Films.
Luke, a Plymouth-based electronica artist will be warming up the crowd before our headline act The Straight Jacket Legends. Luke is also part of the Funky Llama inclusive steering group and performed at our recent warm-up gig at Varsity in Plymouth’s City Centre. Like many of the artists above, Luke has a Facebook and Twitter page and is currently receiving social media mentoring from the Theatre Royal Plymouth. Luke, like DJ Dolphin has performed at every Llama event since 2013 and his fan base is fast growing.
You will be thinking that all the festival is about is a bit of poetry and tons of music, well no, there is even more at the 2015 festival to sink your teeth into. There will be massage in the Llama Life tent with a sensory tree and storytelling. Also in the Crafty Llama workshop tent there is going to be splat paint workshops with artist Graham Robinson and a number of stalls. If that isn’t enough you will also find yoga, drama, singing, flower making, dancing workshops, stilt workshop, and food and drink.
Well that is my top ten and my cup of tea is finished, the only thing needed now is for you to come and see the Funky Llama Festival for yourselves and visit us on the Hoe on Saturday 13th June. Don’t forget the 2015 festival starts with Samba Roc at 1.45pm and there will be plenty for all to enjoy (as always I should be easy to spot with my funky hat and camera in hand). Bring on the most exciting and diverse festival to hit the South West!