UK’s first ever virtual harvest festival

Hosted by JLS band member and farmer JB Gill, the event will offer an online alternative to the traditional school hall assembly.

Published: October 2nd, 2020 at 10:02 am
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On 9th October, JB Gill — who lives a double life as a pop star and farmer — will be hosting Harvest Festival LIVE, the UK’s first ever virtual harvest festival. 


Due to Covid-19 restrictions this year, schools won’t be able to gather large groups of pupils in school halls and other community venues to celebrate the harvest. In response, Jordans Cereals has teamed up with the Wildlife Trusts and global education programme Eco-Schools to create a fun-filled online alternative.

Harvest Festival LIVE will be streamed on YouTube at 10am on Friday 9th October.

Farmer and JLS band member JB Gill will be hosting the online event.
Farmer and JLS band member JB Gill will be hosting the online event. © Jordans Cereals

JLS band member JB Gill says: “As a farmer myself, I know all too well how much work goes into growing and producing food, and the importance of farming in harmony with nature.”

“The annual harvest celebration is a brilliant opportunity to teach children where their food comes from, and the journey it makes from farm to fork. I was delighted to have the opportunity to host Harvest Festival LIVE and will make sure my own children tune in on the day!”

The Jordans Farm Partnership, which is behind the event, supports Jordans farmers to embed nature-friendly farming practices and mandates that a minimum of 10% of their land is managed for biodiversity gains, creating a nature recovery network spanning over 4,200 hectares. 

As the UK’s oat harvest gets underway, Jordans farmers are recording the sights and sounds of this age-old tradition to be screened as part of Harvest Festival LIVE.

The UK's oat harvest gets underway in September and October. © Paul Box
The UK's oat harvest gets underway in September and October. © Jordans Cereals

“We understand schools are facing a myriad of challenges and we hope that providing a virtual harvest assembly will mean they have one less thing to worry about during the autumn term,” says Eco-Schools manager Lee Wray-Davies. “There will be lots of resources available to teach young people about sustainable food and farming.”

The word ‘harvest’ comes from the Old English word hærfest, meaning ‘autumn’. In the past, the success or failure of the harvest was a matter of life or death. A prosperous harvest ensured a community would be fed throughout the winter months and the whole community, including children, helped to bring in the crops. Once all of the crops had been gathered in and the final cartload delivered to the farm, the Harvest Supper, or ‘Harvest Home’, would take place.

To find out more about Harvest Festival LIVE and access free learning resources, activities and ideas, visit 


Main image © Jordans Cereals


Catherine SmalleyProduction editor, BBC Wildlife Magazine

Catherine is production editor at BBC Wildlife Magazine, which means she is chief organiser and bossy boots, helping our talented team get each issue to the printers every month.


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