Wandering Wives have been catching up with event planner, business woman, award winner and bona fide lesbian icon Cindy Edwards.
Tell us a bit about yourself, Cindy
I’m the organiser of L Fest, the UK’s only lesbian festival and L Fest Del Mar, a sister event held in Spain. I spend a lot of my time planning and promoting both events, finding up and coming LGBT artists to perform and getting the word out there. I also run Stanstock Sevens a popular women’s football weekend tournament. All of the events take a lot of planning and are hugely rewarding. My latest project is running a wedding venue from my family farm.
Wow. It sounds like you’re pretty busy. Do you do all that single handedly?
No, I’m the festival director at L Fest so I make a lot of the important decisions but I have a lot of help in running the event. Different people help me to source musicians, films and comedians, I have an amazing crew of volunteers who help out too. They spend countless weekends traveling to different cities spreading the word about the festival. They visit pride events, go to gay bars and tell people all about the amazing time they could be having at L Fest. They are very dedicated and without them the whole thing just wouldn’t be possible.
So what’s so great about L Fest?
We bring together like minded people for a weekend of music, comedy, workshops, films, camping and fun. L Fest is like one big happy family, people arrive in small groups and leave knowing everybody, the event brings everyone together. When I first thought up the idea I never imagined it could make sure a difference to people’s lives.
We hear you’ve won some awards for the festival
We won our first award for ‘Festival of the Year’ in 2011 from a US radio station My Lesbian Radio, we couldn’t believe it! Since then we’ve scooped awards for ‘Event of the Year’ and ‘Festival of the Year’ in the Ultimate Planet Awards and Midland Zone Awards. I’m over the moon to also be personally recognised for my own achievements. I won The Barclays Innovator of the Year award (beating power lesbian Mary Portas) and was recently shortlisted top 8 (out of 22,000) for ‘Positive Role Model of the Year’ in the National Diversity Awards, which was amazing! The support that L Festers have given me is just incredible, I’m totally honoured to be nominated for any awards.
And what about Stanstock Sevens, is it just L Fest with footie?
Stanstock Sevens isn’t a lesbian event, although there are certainly a few people who attend both L Fest and Stanstock. It’s open to all ladies football teams and involves a weekend tournament, camping, social night and fancy dress competition. It’s a celebration of women’s football and a great place for teams to get together and bond at the end of the season.
Sounds like a right laugh! So tell us more about your wedding venue
Stanford Farm in Shropshire has been in my family for 100 years and I’d been looking for a way to diversify how we operate. Some friends were looking for a location for their blessing and I suggested using the barn. It was a great success, so in my own typical fashion, I decided to turn part of my farm into a official wedding venue. It is now fully licenced for ceremonies and guest can camp out in the grounds, holding their own festival style weddings. It’s a really relaxed and romantic way to get married and spend your special day.
Amazing! We love weddings, any chance we can score an invite to the next one?
Ha! Well that would probably depend on the couple who are getting hitched, but I can put a good word in for you.
We won’t hold our breath! So there is camping at L Fest, camping at Stanstock Sevens and now you’ve created a venue for camping weddings. Do you hold shares in a tent company?
No, but that’s not a bad idea, perhaps I should look into that. I just love the laid back vibe of camping and festivals, it really appeals to me.
So how do we get tickets to all of these amazing events?
L Fest is 15th-18th July at Uttoxeter race course, tickets are available from lfest.co.uk
Stanstock Sevens takes place at Ludlow Town FC 17th-19th June stanstocksevens.co.uk
To arrange a visit or book Stanford Farm for your wedding visit stanfordfarm.co.uk
You’ve just missed L Fest Del Mar, but there is always next year for fun in the sun. We will be running our Spanish holiday in May 2017, you can sign up on the website to find out when tickets are released.