Nottstopping Festival: Everything You Need to Know About the 150 Hour Live Stream

Words: Eileen Pegg
Wednesday 29 April 2020
reading time: min, words

The creative, charitable, community loving bunch at Light Hustle are back with another virtual fundraising festival to entertain us lot living through lockdown - this time it’s in support of our key workers. Keep checking this page for updates from the team as we get them, ahead of the event on 23 and 24 May. 


If there’s one thing that Light Hustle - a collaboration between the Hockley Hustle and Circle of Light teams - have proven, it’s that the show can still flippin’ well go on, even when respecting lockdown measures.

Back on 4 April they staged their first colossal live-stream, taking the previously planned Light Hustle event online. With an eight-hour marathon of sets from artists including Jake Bugg and a power ballad workout from I’m Not From London’s Will Robinson, all presented by Sheep Soup’s Mrs Green, they raised £5,500 to help support creative freelancers in Nottingham. 

Armed with a formula that they know works, they’ve roped our favourite Hyson Green grandma back into the presenting duties for Nottstopping - a festival for Notts from Notts - as well as many more creative companies and crews to bring a multi-stream programme of 150 hours of music, film, dance, comedy, theatre, poetry, food, art and design, fashion and family-focused activities. 

The mammoth Bank Holiday extravaganza will be raising funds to provide treats, gifts and experiences for the county’s hardworking frontline key workers, as well as amping up the community spirit good ‘n’ proper. 

Hockley Hustle director and Nottstopping Festival organiser Ben Welch tells us why: “We see, hear and feel the need to continue making, collaborating and delivering artistic content across Nottinghamshire, connecting with as many communities and individuals as possible digitally and beyond.

"This festival is a vital opportunity to bring together Nottinghamshire’s incredible cultural organisations and individuals to stage a weekend of positive, uplifting brilliance for thousands of people across the city and county in a time of unprecedented uncertainty and separation.”

Who’s involved then?
The diverse programme will be packed with wide-ranging content from the region’s vibrant cultural sector including Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham Playhouse, Lakeside, Rough Trade, Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies and Metronome, Wigflex, Nottingham Castle, Broadway Cinema, BFI Network, Just The Tonic, Television Workshop, Dance4, University of Nottingham, Nottingham Music Hub, Nottingham Poetry Festival, Notts TV and Nottingham City of Literature.

As well as artists responding with pieces from isolation, there will be performances taking place on some of the biggest stages that have fallen quiet during lockdown.

Where can I see the lineup?
The full schedule has been revealed and its a corker. View it all here, and filter using the tabs to view the 'music', 'art', 'film', 'words', 'green and wellbeing', 'theatre', 'food', 'comedy' and 'dance' sessions on offer. 

From quizzes to sustainable fashion how-tos, chats with much-loved local musicians to even pilates, and of course the odd live-streamed gig or two, it's brimming with fun stuff to do for all of the family. We don't know where to begin...but you can expect to see a diverse mixture of known national and local names, including Line of Duty star Vicky McClure, This is England director Shane Meadows, award-winning artist Wolfgang Buttress. 

Alex Bond of the revered Alchemilla in Nottingham will be hosting a cook off, and Nottingham born MC and a pivotal figure in the UK underground dance scene Bru-C will be appearing on Light Hustle, while BBC Introducing's, Dean Jackson will be sharing specially recorded songs from band of the moment Do Nothing. 

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, and the wonderful 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. 

Should I swap my slippers for my dancing shoes?
Probably. There will be lots of ways for people and communities to get involved from taking part in a choreographed dance along to ‘Write Up My Street’, a story writing project for neighbours to create together street by street, as well a special singalong for care home residents and a kite-making project for children.

There’s also the chance to take part in live Q&As with leading lights across film, theatre and music and interactive workshops for all ages. 

The community projects for your lot to get involved in have now been announced and you can view them all here.


Don't wait until the weekend - there are things you can be doing as a community before the festival even kicks off...
Working with Nottingham Playhouse, Nottstopping Festival is reaching out to the care home sector to invite residents to join in a county-wide Pack Up Your Troubles sing-along at 2pm on both days. So best get learning those words now...

Pippa Foster, from Nottingham Community Housing Association, said: “This has been such a challenging time for our residents who have not been able to see their families for a while now. We know music has a way of reaching out and connecting people, so this is a lovely way for them to be part of this festival and share a moment with the wider community. We’ll be singing along!”

For Write Up My Street, in partnership with University Of Nottingham, neighbourhoods are invited to create a story together with each household writing a paragraph before passing it on to their neighbours to continue the story. The best ones could be read out on air during the festival by a well known narrator! 

Doorstep Disco in partnership with Dance4, this will give everyone the chance to boogie along to three well known bangers to be played on BBC Radio Nottingham at 7pm on Saturday and Sunday. Move over TikTok - these lot have created their own dance routine to learn, and it's longer than 30 seconds, so it's time to get moving...

If you fancy picking up a new skill, why not learn how to sign the song It Must Be Love by Madness? Clips of people signing along to the song will be edited together into a BSL community video and screened over the weekend. so get yer cameras aht...

Kids aren't left out, with Notts Go Fly a Kite in partnership with City Arts + Freedom Arts. On the website there's a video showing how to make your kite - when done, pop your creation in a window at home and keep hold of it to be a part of an exhibition. 

Knit, knot, plait, pom pom, felt, tassel, weave, wrap, crochet, embroider or braid a miniature piece of yarn art to create a community artwork with Can Samba, and send it to them by 20 May to be part of the first-ever Yowler for the Nottstopping Festival.

Print off a Wish You Were Here postcard and write a heartfelt message to a person on your street, someone you miss or have never met - add a photo, illustration, a joke, or just a lovely supportive message. 

Send in your favourite recipes and why they are special to you and some will feature in Cooking Up a Storm in partnership with Himmah with some familiar faces in the kitchen. 

More information on these projects, as well as links to send in your creations and tips on how to do each one can be found here.

Any other way I can get involved?
We’ll hand this over to Circle of Light co-ordinator and Nottstopping Festival organiser Tricia Gardiner: “As well as presenting an amazing weekend of entertainment showcasing just how much talent we have right here in the city and county, we also are dedicating this festival to our key workers and sending them a message of love and thanks from all of Notts.

"We’d love to hear from organisations who would like to donate a special treat, gift or experience to say thanks to our frontline heroes who are working every day to keep us safe. Whether they’re nurses, carers, cleaners, bin men, shelf-stackers or teachers…we dedicate our festival to them.”

Sounds impressive. How will it work?
The festival will be streamed in full via We’ll update this with more information as it comes, duckeh. 

More info is coming out weekly, so keep checking this page for the latest news on all things #nottstopping. The festival takes place on 23 and 24 May 2020.

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