A one day FREE family-friendly festival returns to West Sussex in memory of Ellie Thornton

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Get ready for a fun-filled day of live music, delicious food, and endless activities at ELLIEFEST 2024. This one-day family festival is back for its second year on Saturday 13 July from 11am - 5pm at Clapham and Patching Village Hall and Grounds near Worthing, West Sussex.

The inaugural event was a huge success, and organisers are pulling out all the stops to make 2024 even bigger and better.

Starting at 11am festival goers will be treated to a full line up of musical artists including local favourites Shoreham AllStars, Sussex Rock Choir, Danni W, emerging artists from BIMM Brighton including Willow Jarvis and Dixie Darling and with a closing set from Glastonbury DJ Sound Lady.

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"We were overwhelmed by the incredible support and turnout for the first ELLIEFEST," said Festival Founder Vicky Thornton. "This year, we have another amazing line-up of live music, more activities than ever, and plenty of delicious food and drinks to fuel the fun."

Ellie Thornton enjoying a festivalEllie Thornton enjoying a festival
Ellie Thornton enjoying a festival

The line-up will also include a performance from Brighton and Hove’s Three Score Dance, a contemporary dance company that challenges perceptions about ageing.

Festivalgoers can grab a drink from the licensed bar and kick back on the lawn to enjoy the sights and sounds. For the little ones, don't miss the family sports day, Buckets of Fun, craft activities, doodle box, face painting, bouncy castle and slide.

When you’ve worked up an appetite, indulge in wood-fired pizzas from Pizza Villaggio, tacos from Fire and Rocket and The Ellie Thornton Foundation's BBQ. Expert baristas from Coffee and Creams will be serving a range of high-quality, freshly brewed coffee and bubble tea. There will be sweet treats including ice cream, candy floss, popcorn, crepes from local providers Chocolate Balloons and The Pop Up Food Co; visitors can also relax with tea and handmade cakes at Ellie's Cake Café. With games, crafts, and more, there's something for everyone to spend an afternoon at the festival.

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Admission is free, but donations are strongly encouraged. All proceeds of the event will support The Ellie Thornton Foundation's mission.

Festivalgoer enjoy the vibes and an icecream at ELLIEFESTFestivalgoer enjoy the vibes and an icecream at ELLIEFEST
Festivalgoer enjoy the vibes and an icecream at ELLIEFEST

ELLIEFEST was launched in 2022, a biennial festival conceived in memory of Ellie Thornton to generate funds to deliver The Ellie Thornton Foundation’s charitable mission. A team of 60 volunteers and hundreds of festival-goers transformed the grounds of Clapham and Patching Village Hall for a day of fundraising and fun.

The Ellie Thornton Foundation is a charitable incorporated organisation, established in 2017 by Ben and Vicky Thornton in memory of Ellie Thornton, aged 11, who died, after she was involved in a road traffic accident in West Sussex, as she walked to school in March 2017.

Ellie was an extraordinary girl with an extraordinary life, marked by her desire to have fun, her obsession with theme parks, and her ability to engage anyone in conversation, adult or child. Ellie was worldly, resilient, bubbly and full of ideas and ambitions. She wanted to help children who didn’t have the same opportunities that she did and recognised that she was lucky to travel the world and have amazing family experiences. The Ellie Thornton Foundation champions what was important to her, and what is important to her family, in her name.

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The Foundation provides support in three ways: Via grants financial support to families

A musician performing at ELLIEFESTA musician performing at ELLIEFEST
A musician performing at ELLIEFEST
  • Grant making to provide financial support for ‘Ellie Days’ for families who struggle to facilitate fun days out for their children due to illness and incapacity

  • Interventions to support, road safety for children travelling to and from school

  • Supporting initiatives to help parents bereaved by the loss of a child

Anyone interested in supporting the festival can do so in a number of ways: volunteering to help on the day, through a donation or as a festival trader. If you would like to take part, visit elliethorntonfoundation.org.uk for full details and how to apply.

Mark your calendars for the can't-miss event of the summer – ELLIEFEST 2024 on Sat 13 July.