Who we are
Somerton Music and Arts Festival (SMAF) is a not for profit Community Interest Company (CIC). It is registered at Companies House and has been in existence in various forms for over thirty years.
SMAF has a board of directors and a committee which organises the events for an annual Festival, which takes place in July, as well holding a number of events at other times in the year.
SMAF is run exclusively by volunteers for the benefit of our community. The primary purpose of the organisation is to put on the annual Festival and associated events in Somerton, many of which are free. These include art and photography exbibitions and workshops in schools and residential homes and a wide variety of music events. By doing this, the committee aims to make Somerton a better place to live and visit, showing off the historic market town to all who come.
The 2019 Festival provided a varied programme with events held in the Parish Church and Somerton’s Parish Rooms. It also supported a number of free events within the community, for older residents of Wessex House Care Home, and for the local school, King Ina Academy, and pre-school provision; with a free evening of folk music at the White Hart Hotel.
In 2020 most of the festival events were cancelled because of the pandemic, with the Art and Photography Exhibition moving online for a week at the end of May. Somerstock took place as a virtual festival on Facebook in July. In 2021, the Festival returned just as restrictions were ending meaning that one or two of our Town Events could not go ahead, but Somerstock was a huge success despite restrictions on numbers to ensure that visitors could remain socially distanced and safe. Nonetheless, we managed to put on a fantastic festival which raised funds for local organisations.
The following year, 2022, we were back to normal and our festival saw many and varied events take place throughout the town, culminating with Somerstock, our iconic music festival. Such was the success of the festival that we were able to donate £1000 to the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance and a similar amount to the Recreation Ground Trust.
Building on the success of 2022, this year’s festival was even bigger and better with an extra night of music being added to Somerstock. Through a collaboradion with the School in a Bag charity to run the bar at Somerstock, we were able to raise £4500 for the charity, plus a further £250 for the Air Ambulance and we supported local youth group Archies Xtra.
Plans are now taking shape for 2024 which will see a wide range of events taking place in Somerton as well as an even bigger, better Somerstock.
To find out how to get involved, either as a participant, performer, volunteer or sponsor, please contact Jon Sackett by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
How we help…
We are very lucky to benefit from some great sponsors, providing either services or funding to continually help us improve the festival. Without this support, Somerstock would not raise the great sums it does for charity.
In 2023, the money raised through both our town events and Somertock, enabled us to make a donation of £250 to the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance as well as supporting local youth group Archies Xtra. A collaboration with the School in a Bag charity to run the Somerstock bar raised an additional £4500 for that charity.
Air Ambulance selected as partner charity for 2023
Our charity partner for 2023 was the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance, a registered charity established to provide relief from sickness and injury for the people of Dorset and Somerset by the provision of an air ambulance service, with an air and road-delivered critical care capability. The organisation receives no direct funding from the Government or the National Lottery and relies on the generosity of the public for support. Their operational costs are over £5 million a year and the approximate cost per mission is £3,000.
Since their launch in 2000 they have flown thousands of missions. They are tasked as part of the normal ‘999’ emergency process by a dedicated Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) desk located at Ambulance Control (paid for by the South West Air Ambulance Charities) and can attend up to eight or nine incidents in a single day.
Their airbase is situated at Henstridge Airfield on the Dorset/Somerset border. From there, they can be at any point in the two counties in less than 20 minutes. More importantly, the helicopter can, if required, then take a patient to the nearest major trauma centre in the South West within a further 20 minutes.
Find out more at www.dsairambulance.org.uk