A FESTIVAL is to make its fourth outing in Eastrop Park this year, bigger than ever before.

The All in the Mind Festival, organised by Fluid Motion Theatre Company, will look to shine a light on mental health through performance and art.

There has also been a large show of support from Arts Council England, as it was announced during Mental Health Awareness Week last week that nearly £30,000 would be put towards the festival.

All in the Mind is the brainchild of Fluid’s Leigh Johnstone, who has organised the festival since its inception in 2016.

Speaking to the Gazette, Leigh said: “We’ve had the support of the Arts Council before, but not to this level at all, it is really exciting.

“We are hoping to attract even more people and acts this year.”

The festival attracted more than 1,300 visitors last year, a far cry from the 79 of the first year.

More acts, including many locally-based projects will be performing at the festival, including Leigh with his Fluid Motion troupe.

They will be performing Leigh’s own play Rum in the Gravy Boat, a tale about the effect on his mental health from growing up with an alcoholic mother and raising his two young sisters.

Leigh added: “The investments have helped so that I can focus on other areas, like performing, instead of the organising side.

“It is really exciting to be performing as we will be performing outside for the first time.

“The festival has taken on its own identity, and it is an opportunity for artists to have a platform to discuss mental health.

“We aren’t here to preach or counsel, it’s a fun day and if you come away feeling slightly better, that’s great.”

The free festival will be taking place at Eastrop Park all day on Saturday, 14 September.

Pre-register for tickets at aitmfestival.com/festival-tickets or just turn up on the day.