Let the music play-online festival to raise money for mental health charity

AN Uppermill-based mental health specialist is combining his two biggest passions to organise ‘the world’s cheapest music festival’.

In just over three weeks, Paul Wolstenholme has turned a germ of an idea into reality-a two-day, online festival – Thrive Hive.

The event on February 6-7 costs just £10 with proceeds going to the Tameside, Oldham and Glossop branch of mental health charity, Mind.

Even with more acts to be announced, organiser Paul has pulled together a cosmopolitan bill of bands, individuals and poets including Scottish duo Phil Ford and Tim Kwant.

Together Phil and Tim are known as Lapwing and produced a viral festive hit, Hope Christmas Gets You to Me, that brought them national airplay and to the reach of celebrities such as Graham Norton and Lorraine Kelly.

Thrive Hive will also showcase a collection of local talent including the likes of Jake Fletcher, Ambiere, Mercy Kelly, Leon the Pig Farmer. Cosmic Mother and Bryn Chapman.

“I work in mental health and music is another big passion,” said Paul, director of Pathlight specialising in workplace wellbeing, mental health training and coaching.

“I know the uplifting power of music and thought a Festival like this can raise lockdown spirits while raising money for Mind.”

The charity has been overwhelmed with referrals for mental health support since the pandemic began.

Every ticket bought will help them support people experiencing mental health challenges.

“I have been really humbled by the response,” added Paul. “Almost as soon as the discussion got started, a host of musicians, artists and other performers offered to help, all completely free of charge.

“I feel so energised, proud and humbled by the support that all the superb artists and volunteers are providing.”

The £10 ‘entrance’ covers both days and provides access to a link for streaming of the artists who will have pre-recorded their sets.

“We will fit them together seamlessly so you feel like you are at a festival. It’s the cheapest festival in the world.’

Paul, who is also training to be a psychotherapist, is toying with the idea of making a guest appearance at Thrive Hive.

“I play guitar and sing a bit but I am not as good as most of the artists,” he laughed.

Sid Cooper, frontman of Manchester band LOAstate, said: “I’m really excited to be part of this festival’s fantastic line-up.

“Raising awareness and promoting positive mental health is more crucial now than ever.

“The uplifting and connecting power of music is a great way to do that, so I’m proud to be helping to banish the lockdown blues that so many people are feeling.”

Tickets are available via Pathlight’s website: www.pathlight.org.uk/events.

Details of other artists appearing will be posted on two social media channels: Twitter: @Hive_Festival and Facebook: Thrive Hive Online Fest.

Founded in Greater Manchester, Pathlight aims to foster positive mental health, compassionate relationships and mindful, productive workplaces. The company provides training, support and consultancy services.

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