Maindee Festival in the 90s

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Images and stories from the early days of the Maindee Festival. The first Maindee festival launched in 1997.

Sue Bidmead, Monis Mouflahi, Brian Selby, Andy O'Rourke and Sally-Ann Evans were key people involved in getting the festival off the ground.

Sue realised that, from her community work - in valleys communities that music and the arts were particularly effective in bringing communities together.

The idea of a festival was ‘floated’ at a community meeting (known back then as Maindee Forum) and people responded well to it. Sue Bidmead had started an audit of resources within the community, identifying talent such as Andy O'Rourke and Sally-Ann Evans.  A community newsletter called 'Letterbox' which Adrian Mizon edited was circulated to promote the festival.

Sue said about the Festival “people have gone on to create their own careers from it, it’s been brilliant. The first Festival included a fashion show with girls modelling clothes donated by local Asian stores and boys trying to peep in to watch it. The festival included share evenings where people brought in different food from different countries.