Stars announced in line-up for digital Nottstopping Festival

Poet Lemn Sissay. (Photo: Slater King).

World-famous actors, a Michelin-starred chef and acclaimed musicians have been added to the line-up of a huge digital festival for Nottinghamshire.

Nottstopping Festival will run over the Bank Holiday weekend of next Saturday and Sunday May 23 and 24.

The free event allows people to choose from around 150 hours of online performance streams. Notts TV is also broadcasting parts of the festival on both days from 4pm until 10pm on Freeview 7 and Virgin 159 across Notts.

There are also eight community connect projects giving people across the city and county the chance to get involved.

Organisers today announced a host of stars for the event, including Line of Duty actor Vicky McClure, This is England director Shane Meadows, award-winning artist Wolfgang Buttress, BBC’s The Big Painting Challenge Diana Ali and acclaimed documentary filmmaker Jeanie Finlay.

TV and film actor Esther Coles is joined by friend and fellow actor Jane Horrocks for a new comedy piece devised for the festival.

Other highlights include a Worst Witch Q&A with actor Bella Ramsey – who played Mildred Hubble in several series of the hit CBBC show – with current Worst Witch actor Lydia Page. TV Workshop director Nic Harvey will chair the Q&A where fans can tune in and put a question to the pair.

Nottingham Michelin-starred chef Alex Bond, of Alchemilla restaurant on Derby Road in Nottingham, will be doing a cookalong for the festival.

Alcehmilla’s Michelin star-winning chef Alex Bond will host a cookalong. (Photo: Joseph Raynor).

Over on the BBC Introducing stream, Dean Jackson will be sharing specially recorded songs from band of the moment Do Nothing. The punk quartet from Nottingham has caught the attention of music industry tastemakers and fans alike rapidly building a reputation as one of the most formidable live acts in the country.

Nottingham born MC and a pivotal figure in the UK underground dance scene Bru-C will be appearing on Light Hustle – the collaboration between Circle of Light and Hockley Hustle showcasing new and emerging artists –  with more than 20 hours of the music livestream hosted once again by Mrs Green.

An all-female line up of Kanneh-Masons will see the sisters from the talented musical family playing together on the Royal Concert Hall stage filmed especially for the festival. Pianist Isata – who is taking the classical world by storm – will be joined by younger sisters Konya, Jeneba, Aminata and Mariatu. Singer songwriter Rob Green – who has just released his new single Life Goes On with a video featuring 100s of people living life in lockdown – will be performing a set on the stage too.

Isata Kanneh-Mason. (Photo: Robin Clewley)

Poetry buffs are in for a treat with appearances from Lemn Sissay MBE – the official poet of the 2012 London Olympics and chancellor of the University of Manchester and Roger McGough CBE – one of Britain’s best-loved poets and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Please. Writer, poet, TV and film producer Henry Normal – BAFTA winner and founder of Nottingham Poetry Festival –  will be taking part too.

More than 20 care homes have signed up so far to have singalong to some old favourite songs with rehearsals underway already. Everyone is invited to join in with the Pack Up Your Troubles singalong to share a special moment with everyone living and working in the county’s care homes. Tune in to BBC Radio Nottingham at 2pm on both days of the festival to join in.

The Community Connect projects are all available on https://nottstoppingfestival.com/projects/ with the chance to write a street story, make a kite, take part in cookalongs, learn how to sign to ‘It Must Be Love’ and learn the dance moves for a Doorstep Disco for everyone to join in at 7pm on both days.

Nottstopping is also asking people to nominate a frontline worker close to their heart for the chance for them to receive a special gift, treat or experience being pledged by businesses across Nottinghamshire. To submit a nomination, post a short video on Nottstopping Festival social media saying why they are your frontline hero and hashtag #nottstoppingheroes

The festival will be streamed in full at www.nottstoppingfestival.com and Notts TV’s coverage featuring highlights of the festival will run from 4pm to 10pm both days on Freeview 7 and Virgin 159. BBC Nottingham are broadcasting a singalong at 2pm and dancelong at 7pm both days.

The full programme will be continue to be announced on www.nottstoppingfestival.com.

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