A YOUTH music festival is returning to an Oxfordshire town after the success of its first year.

Wantage’s Sweatbox club is planning another ‘What The Fest’ (WTF) in Wantage on Saturday, July 13.

Much like previous Sweatbox festivals Rock in the Park and Dylanfest, WTF boasts live music from local performers.

With the spotlight being shone on mental health, notably in a partnership with local police, there will be numerous stalls featuring local services, support groups and charities for all ages.

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Artwork created by both primary and secondary age children tasked with making posters about wellbeing will also be on display.

Sweatbox Manager George Hicks said: “Our community art project this year is all about single use plastic - we will be making artwork from single use plastic we have been collecting both at The Sweatbox and at home.

“In addition to this we have been making eco bricks during youth centre sessions and will be displaying the process from sweetie wrapper to the creation of outdoor seats at the event.”

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The whole community are invited to come and see the new Sweatbox building, which only opened in September, during the festival, which runs from noon to 8pm.

Mrs Hicks continued: “All our rubbish on the day is sorted and as much recycled as possible. Our ongoing aim to to make Sweatbox events as sustainable as is possible.”

However, the theme this year is ‘Celebrating Diversity’ so as well as focussing on mental health and sustainability, a variety of speakers will discuss a variety of topics, including those that advocate for LGBTQ+ right.

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The Oxfordshire Drag Collective will perform a family friendly performance as the ‘end of the show show’.

Lots of live music with a focus on young acts will also take centre stage this year - featuring everything from bands, acoustic acts, MC’s DJ’s and the ever popular DJ Carl, leading the Macarena.

Former Sweatboxer Iona McNaught and young bands Outer Blue and One3One will perform, with Mrs Hicks describing the selection as 'a real mix' of music this year.

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However, it will only feature one stage this time around, instead of the two last year, with organisers describing the event as 'more intimate'.

Moving to King Alfred Academy’s Centre Site, after it began life at Wantage Town Football Club, the festival will also incorporate a community wellbeing event organised by PC Sarah Merritt.

‘Dylville’ – a ‘mental health and wellbeing village’ – is also returning with a selection of chilled out craft activities and space to hang out and chat to Wantage Counselling Service.

A BBQ, Polly Pedlars ice cream and The Swan bar will also be there, while other child-friendly activities include a bouncy castle, sumo wrestling, t-shirt tie dying, sweetie tombola and a mini scooter/skate park.

A raffle and ‘silent auction’ also promise a twist for festival goers, with prizes including a weekend away in a converted Devon barn.

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The fire service are planning to do a car crash recovery demonstration, while attendees will also learn about how to use a defibrillator.

All money raised will be split between The Sweatbox and the purchase of defibrillators.

Discussing the thinking behind this year’s changes, Mrs Hicks added: “As usual the event has been organised by young people for young people with a big team getting involved in the organisation.”