Countdown to city’s new festivals


Four brand new festivals are set to take place in Worcester in 2020, showcasing national and international creative talent whilst supporting local emerging work.

The first of the four festivals is Worcester Light Night, taking place across the city centre on the evening of Thursday 16 January from 5.30 - 10.00pm, just 100 days from now! Light Night will be a free to access night where, using light, the city will be animated via installations and live performances.

Atmosphere, the second new festival will take place on Saturday 25 April. Atmosphere is a festival with a strong focus on the environment and the world we live in. It's a festival to learn and question with a mix of discussions, talks and live performances either inspired by the environment or with a clear message about the environmental and natural world.

Atmosphere will be followed by the third festival, Disrupting the Norm which will take place from 6 – 11 July. This will be a free to access festival with a range of events taking place throughout the week across the city. The festival will feature a mix of pop up events and accidental art - making the everyday less ordinary in a fun and playful way for the duration of the festival.

The fourth of the new festivals is Worcester's International Story Festival which will take place in October. The International Story Festival will be a 10 day city wide festival dedicated to stories; old stories, new stories, our stories, other people's stories. Narrative will be at the heart of everything within the Story Festival. A mix of free to access and ticketed events will make up this festival; using indoor and outdoor unusual spaces across Worcester.

All four festivals are funded through The Arches – Worcester project by the Department of Culture Media and Sport Cultural Development Fund.

David Edmunds, Festivals Director said: "I am very excited about next year and our four new festivals. They have all got very strong and distinctive themes and it's great to be able to start sharing more information about them and how each one is going to be brought to life. Lots more information will follow very soon!"

Laura Worsfold, Severn Arts Chief Executive said: "We are all very excited about bringing new arts experiences to the people of Worcester and in particular, the number of opportunities for young people and new creative businesses that this programme will offer. Festivals have a huge impact on cities, as we have seen through City of Culture projects in Liverpool, Hull and now Coventry. We aim to celebrate the uniqueness of Worcester through presenting outdoor spectacle, debate, challenge and innovation and to raise the profile of artists, creative professionals and new emerging talent in our city."

Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England said: "Festivals are a fantastic way to bring people together as a community, create business partnerships and instil civic pride, and on top of all that, these four festivals in Worcester also promise to offer creative opportunities and a chance to think about environmental issues too.

"This is a transformative time for Worcester, as the Cultural Development fund helps to build on the creativity that's at the centre of the city's future development and we are proud to support the city as The Arches – Worcester project gets underway."

Anyone wishing to keep up to date with festival news can do so by visiting The Arches Website.

About The Arches - Worcester

The four new festivals - Light Night, Atmosphere, Disrupting the Norm and the International Story Festival are all within the festivals programme of The Arches – Worcester project.

In January 2019 the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport awarded £3m from the Cultural Development Fund, which is administered by Arts Council England, towards the costs of the The Arches - Worcester.

The funding will be used to create a new key gateway for the city, following the line of the Victorian arches from Foregate Street railway station to The Hive and the river Severn.

Eight of the arches will be refurbished, becoming dynamic work and creative spaces, transforming the area into a modern, 21st Century workplace for creative industries, and a cultural destination for tourists and local communities.

The project will be delivered by Worcester Cultural Partnership which is made up of:

Worcester City Council
The University of Worcester
Severn Arts
The Arch Company
Worcestershire County Council

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people's lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

Severn Arts, a leading Arts charity in Worcestershire, is the lead organisation for the festivals strand of the project. 

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