Fia festival for awareness of mental health

Ten singers and bands will take to the stage for 10 hours of music to support a mental health campaign.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 1st June 2018, 11:59 am
Updated Friday, 1st June 2018, 12:02 pm

The Viva La Fia festival will see the local acts give their time and services for free to raise as much money as possible for The Fia Not Campaign.

The organisation has been set up in memory of Sophia Theobald who took her own life last year after a struggle with anxiety and depression.

Led by her mum Jaquie Hanson, and Fia’s family and friends, it aims to support people with poor mental health across Wakefield.

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Donna Hackleton at Warehouse 23 where the main fundraising event is being held.

The group needs to raise £5,000 to get up and running and hopes to become a charity. Viva La Fia will be its annual flagship event to help raise cash.

Campaign maanger Donna Hackleton said: “Viva La Fia is an annual not for profit festival to raise money to provide support to those who aren’t getting the help they need from the current mental health system through our community group The Fia Not Campaign.

“Our event will be an eight hour spectacular that promises to be an event not to be missed.

“It is a not for profit event run by volunteers. All profit on the day will go towards The Fia Not Campaign, set up in honour of Fia Theobald who sadly lost her battle with depression in July 2017.

“The community group will help young people in crisis, giving them the support they need without judgment and signposting them to services to ensure they get the help they need.”

The festival which will take place on October 6, will include live music, stalls with information about mental health, an auction, raffle and face painting.

The acts playing are Yard Wars, Victors, Fielding, The Last Cartel, Hotrod Hooliganz, Sux Blood, Chloe Juliette Beswick, Dean & Jimi England, Michael Barrett and Those Who Betray.

Jaquie said: “Fia was a big fan of all of the bands and singers who are playing for us, and she was close friends with a lot of them as well. She loved music, whether it be at home or at gigs, and she often spoke of the bands in interviews she did for magazines she modelled for.

“This seems an appropriate way to honour her memory, due to her diverse love of all music and the close friendships she had with them, and we are so grateful to all the bands for wanting to help us with this.

“None of them have asked for anything in return, they all just want to help us raise enough money to become a charity, and do what they can to raise awareness for mental illness, as well as spread Fia’s name as far and wide as possible.”

The event will take place on October 6 from 5pm until 3am at Warehouse 23. Tickets cost £15 and are on sale from Warehouse 23, Wah Wah Records on Brook Street or at

The Express Time to Care campaign is backing Viva La Fia and the Fia Not Campaign.

We are highlighting the reasons why there is a need to care, looking at issues affecting people in our communities and the work being done to address them. We need to care about poverty and homelessness, about loneliness. We need to care about our children and our elderly and about people in need of healthcare and social support. We cannot end the struggles that many in our district are facing but together, showing kindness and compassion, our little gestures can make a difference.

l Get involved in our campaign by telling us what you are doing to help others - email [email protected]

BAND IMAGES and photographers: Fielding – Rose Kelly. Michael Barrett – John Jowett. Those Who Betray – JR Photography. Chloe Beswick – Hayley Gaftarnick. Yard Wars – John Jowett. The Last Cartel – Libby Howarth. Sux Blood – Paula Brooke. Dean and Jimi England – Lynsey Ball. Hotrod Hooliganz – John Jowett. Victors – Spencer Norton.