North East music festival to grow following business support
Jamie Hardesty

North East music festival to grow following business support

North East music festival Harambee Pasadia is set to be bigger than ever this year having won a business award to help it grow.

Bringing an explosion of Afro-fusion and Latin rhythms to Barnard Castle at the end of May, the festival is the idea of Newcastle-based musicians Hannabiell Sanders and Yilis del Carmen Suriel.

Supported by Newcastle University’s Rise Up entrepreneurial programme, which helps students and graduates to develop sustainable business ideas, the pair secured a business development award worth £1000 alongside a package of business support and advice to help the festival reach a much broader audience..

Hannabiell has also been nominated for the ncl+ Pride of Newcastle University Award in the Entrepreneur of the Year category, with the ceremony taking place in June at Newcastle Civic Centre.

Yilis, who is originally from the Dominican Republic, said: “The award has come at a great time for us – the festival is just a few weeks away so this will help us get the message out further and hopefully attract some more acts.

“As former Newcastle University students, we knew all about the Rise Up programme and it has been an amazing experience to gain so much advice and guidance from an experienced team of mentors.”

Harambee Pasadia will take place between May 22 and May 25 at The Hub in Barnard Castle with a host of world-renowned performers of Afro-beat, jazz, reggae, funk and Latin music.

Now in its third year, the festival also features drumming and dance workshops, arts events, sporting activities and a great selection of African, Latin and Asian flavoured food.

Yilis and Hannabiell, who are part of the respected afro psychedelic funk group Hannabiell & Midnight Blue, have also expanded their business to include music event management, music tutoring and mentoring particularly within the region’s BME community.

Throughout, they have been supported by Newcastle University’s Rise Up team to help turn their musical idea into a business success.

Jackie Wade, who is one of the Rise Up advisors, said: “It’s rare you meet two people who are so passionate, knowledgeable and committed to their business idea.

“It has been exciting to work with Yilis and Hannabiell to build something which is so much more than the festival but a sustainable business idea which brings their particular music genre to much broader audiences and hard to reach communities.”

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