Woolfest will be taking place online for the second year and is looking forward to welcoming thousands from around the world via social media.
"We want to support as many of the businesses that would have been at Woolfest as we can," says Marion Rae, one of the organisers and a member of The Wool Clip. "Last year, we had just a few weeks to pull together an online event and we were thrilled with the response with people joining in (and buying) from across the world. By the end of the online event, we had over 4,000 people taking part and it's continued to grow."
"In the year of Covid, many wool businesses have developed their online skills and found ways of selling in lockdown and we're keen to give them a Woolfest platform for 2021. Using last year as a template, we're aiming to replicate as much of Woolfest as possible with local music, a raw fleece sale, charity fundraising, breeds of fleece animals and, of course, a wide range of wool craft businesses."
Woolfest has always been organised by members of The Wool Clip and the Cumbrian co-operative will be taking part online, promoting its Caldbeck shop and online sales as well as sharing enthusiasm for all things wool.
"Our focus is very much on reopening our shop after lockdown and then getting ready for Woolfest Online in June," says Jean Wildish, another of the organisers and a member of The Wool Clip. "We've been asked about 2022 and, to be honest, we feel that Woolfest Online 2021 will probably be the last time that Woolfest will be organised on such a large scale and with such a diverse range of content."
"We have lots of exciting ideas about how Woolfest will change and evolve and we are considering more, smaller, themed, niche events that will stick to the "adding value to wool" ethos of Woolfest and maintain its reputation for friendliness and quality of work. We hope to be able to share these ideas later in the year."
"For 2021, we would really like to celebrate everything that Woolfest has been and has achieved in the past 17 years," says Jean. "And we hope that stallholders and virtual visitors alike will enjoy being part of it."
Woolfest Online 2021 is now active in the WOOLFEST Facebook Group as well as taking shape @woolfestuk on Instagram. The online event will run in four sessions, starting on Friday 25 June and finishing late in the afternoon of Saturday 26 June. There will be lots more information available online very soon, including a full schedule of stallholders, at www.woolfest.co.uk.