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Pride parade to launch OneFest celebration of difference

Posted onPosted on 26th Jun

The UK’s fastest-growing learning disability festival, OneFest, will be returning in July for a week-long line-up of arts, culture, music, and entertainment across Mansfield and Ashfield.

Founded and run by Mansfield-based Unanima Theatre, the festival aims to highlight and reduce the stigma and discrimination experienced by learning disabled and autistic people (intellectual and developmental learning disabilities), as well as campaign for societal levelling-up.

An array of artists, comedians, and creatives will be showcasing their talents across seven events, comprised of music, video game tournaments, comedy shows, an exclusive learning disabled and autistic nightclub, and more.

Performances will take place from 15th to 21st July, with Saturday 15th featuring Nottinghamshire’s first Learning Disability PRIDE event free in Mansfield Market Place.

Tracy Radford and Brad English, OneFest organisers, said: “OneFest was borne out of the desire to give learning disabled and autistic people the chance to live in parallel to that of the rest of the population, without prejudice.

“It offers these individuals a supportive space where the community can come together to experience new and inclusive culture and creativity, alongside and in celebration of the learning disabled and autistic.”

During the free opening event, a Learning Disability PRIDE march and a day-long oasis of partying will be brought by a line-up of artists, including Deep Down Brass, ThePETEBOX, The Harry Styles Experience by Adam Ingles, a Dua Lipa tribute by Rachel Fuller, and The OneFest House Band.

Neurodivergent and disabled comedians Harriet Dyer, David Eagle, and Richard Stott will be on stage at andwhynot, on Leeming Street for a comedy mixed bill.

Joining the artists will be international beatboxing star SK SHLOMO with the award-winning solo show BREATHE. Other performers such as Not Your Circus Dogs will be performing a live protest movement show during the week.

Tracy and Brad added: “Much of the event is BSL-interpreted and is either free to enter or priced at £5 and under, which we’ve done to keep the event as accessible as possible for those who want to enjoy the fun.”

Also appearing will be Oliver Pratley, who first performed at the festival in 2022. Oliver, a Down Syndrome junior swimming world record holder, had been beat boxing and drumming at home for eight years with no opportunity to demonstrate his skills until OneFest last year.

This year, Oliver will take to the stage again, teaming up with international artists, beat boxing ThePETEBOX, and rock band Tigercub.

To find out more about OneFest, including the full line-up and events, go to The free Learning Disability PRIDE event will start on 15th July at 11am in Mansfield Market Place. For all other events tickets must be purchased on the door or online.