The idea of Northampton having a 'green festival' came from Richard & Jeanie Parsonson sitting at the Glastonbury festival in the late 1980's. So as members of the local Friends of the Earth they put on a couple of events at the Labour Club called 'Green Things' and then an outdoor event called 'Green Day' at Northampton Boys School. To expand the festival idea they contacted the local Greenpeace, CND and Amnesty International groups and a collaboration of interested people came together to put on the first umbrella festival, called the 'Fools Fete' it was held on the band stand at Abington Park on the 1st May 1990 and was the start of a series of annual Umbrella Fair festivals. The group wanted to do more than hold festivals and formed the Umbrella Fair Organisation with a vision to start a Northamptonshire based Centre for Alternative Technology. Although discussions took place with the local authorities and a site just outside Corby was considered, the plans didn't come to fruition. The festival grew over the years with more and more people attending, more things happening until 1994 when the festival was attended by over 18,000, with many area's of interest and culture. Sadly because the number of people driving the festival was so small, it couldn't carry on.