The 2017 ‘Potato Pants’ Festival

Raising awareness of HSP in the UK


Potato Pants action

The 2017 Potato Pants Festival in the UK was held on Saturday 3 June at High Mead Farm in Bournemouth. Half the proceeds go to HSP and half to High Mead Farm, which is itself a charity for those with disabilities and which offers a range of activities for those with learning and physical disabilities, mental health issues and for disengaged youngsters.


Ian Bennett, Chairman of the UK HSP support group for many years, and organiser of the festival said “It is hoped that ‘potato pants’ activities will do for HSP what the ice bucket challenge did for ALS”. Eight musical acts performed throughout the day, and in between each performance people were encouraged to slip into some specially made trousers filled with potatoes and raced others in the same attire. Ian added “Yes, this may sound crazy, but it’s great fun and gives people some idea of what it’s like to have mobility problems”. Ian added: “All the musicians and many other individuals, can’t be thanked enough for their amazing generous support for such a good cause.” In addition to the musical entertainment, there were activities for children including opportunities to meet the farm animals, bouncy castles, a crockery smash, food stalls and various other stalls.

For the adults, there was a bar stocked by Wimborne’s award winning brewery, Eight Arch Brewing Co. including a happy hour!

crockery-smashing fun!

Newly elected chairman of the UK HSP Support Group, Adam Lawrence, writes “I went there with my family, and it was really good fun. Actually I was there with my extended family as the festival was in the area where my wife’s family live, so there were a fair few of us there.”

2017 was the second year of the festival, and it felt like a well organised, friendly affair. My kids spent most of the afternoon on the bouncy castles, whilst the rest of us sat on the grass listening to the music and having a good look around. The bands were playing in a big tent and there were plenty of people listening and dancing.

During the changeover between bands there were the now infamous potato pants races, where up to six people put on the specially made trousers, loaded up with 10 potatoes down each leg. The race was a simple “run to that crate and back again” race, so a distance of about 50m. Why? The concept comes from a discussion between a mother with HSP and her daughter. This conversation set off a chain of activities, and the potato pants festival is a descendant of this idea!

At the festival there were also a few stalls selling things, a bar, an ice cream stall, a hot dog/burger outlet, a few other games and events for people to take part in, and people were also free to roam around the farm.

bands take the stage


I thought that the event was great. The music was really good, all the people were really friendly, and it’s a really nice way of raising awareness about HSP.

Of course, its not just about the fun, the event was to raise money, so there were lots of volunteers helping on the day, and I hope to find out at the AGM how much was raised for the charity. I’m looking forward to next year!”


Some links about the festival:

Review 1: (with loads of pics)

Music 1:

Music 2:


SOURCE: Tuesday, 27 June 2017

by Adam Lawrence

Bristol, UK


SOURCE: SomersetLive 09:00, 16 May 2017


A day of entertainment at Potato Pants Festival in Longham

Such an interesting name for a festival – but there is a reason for it


by Marilyn Barber  

Here’s a link to full article:



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