We’re a week out from our first inaugural Fit Farm Festival, and we’ve just about recovered! Before we get into it too much, we would like to thank everyone who made this day possible – all of the staff who helped set up, run and manage the event, all of the wonderful vendors and coaches who made the festival what it was, our amazing volunteers who so selflessly gave up their time to make everything run like Japanese public transport, and last but not least, you! Without all of you fabulous people, none of this would have ever made it past the planning stage, so we really want to let you know how much we appreciate your ongoing support. So, with that out of the way, why did we do it? What was the point? And will we do it again?
As we all know, the last year and a half has been, for lack of a better term, a right bastard. At best, we’ve been locked in doors, separated from friends and family, struggling to maintain a sense of normality, and at worst, some of us have lost jobs, stable incomes, our health, or even loved ones. These unprecedented times have been testing for all of us, as we’ve had to deal with government negligence, profound changes to our daily routines, and endless TikTok dances. For independent businesses, this was especially true. Many independent businesses operate pretty close to the margin of profitability even in good times – so when the world ground to a halt and many were forced to close indefinitely, this made a precarious situation even more unstable. Many of us found ways to adapt – The Project PT began during lockdown offering online PT and free, fun PE games for kids, but this doesn’t change the fact that this last year took an enormous toll on small businesses.
Thankfully, it appears that there is light at the end of the tunnel. The unprecedented success of scientists all over the world not only speaks volumes about what is possible outside of the logic of the free market, but to the power of international cooperation and communication. As the vaccine rollout continues, things seem to be tentatively getting back to some kind of normality, and we wanted to celebrate that. By bringing some of our favourite businesses from around Oxford together, we wanted to show that, thanks to your support and patronage, we’re still standing despite all the chaos and confusion we’ve been through, and without tempting fate, that we’ll be here for a while longer.
And what a celebration it was! Over 100 of you turned up to party with us, try new exciting fitness classes and support Oxford’s finest local businesses. From Crossfit, to Aerial Yoga, to Indian Clubs and Tyre Flipping, you guys gave it your all, had fun, and didn’t let a spot of rain dampen your spirits. Fed and watered by some of the best catering businesses in town, your perseverance in the face of inclement weather was certainly admirable. It was so great to see all of your lovely faces in one place again, enjoying yourself and taking advantage of the wide array of classes and vendors we put together.
Finally, the question that I’m sure you’re all asking is – will you be doing it again? A year is a long time, and a lot can change in a year, so we can’t give a definitive yes or no just yet, but after seeing how much of a success this year’s was, we can’t help but want to keep building. We want to network with even more businesses, put on even more classes, and most importantly, bring more people together! At it’s heart, that’s what Fitness At The Farm and The Project PT are about – bringing people together and making human connections. That’s what we set out to do with the first Fit Farm Festival, and that’s what we want to continue doing, whether at our events, with out social work, or with our members on the Farm and in the Studio. We hope you can be a part of it!