Not long until 17 days of festival fun!
The eighth successive Basingstoke Festival has plenty of art in unexpected places up its sleeve including street dance, flashmobs, street theatre, cinema in the park, ‘80s retro celebrations, live music, local history and visual arts.
The very best in arts and entertainment will return to the borough for 17 superb days from Friday 21 June to Sunday 7 July.
Grab your headphones and join in with the Silent Disco launch outside the Willis Museum or immerse yourself in the glorious 1980s inside the museum at the ticketed opening party for new exhibition I Grew Up ‘80s.
Thanks to the festival’s exciting new partnership with Without Walls Touring Network, local audiences will be enchanted by dip, a show by trampolinist extraordinaire Max Calaf in The Malls, and Mirror Mirror from internationally renowned theatre company Mind The Gap.
Marvel at the artistic talents of locals including Sian Storey, Junko O’Neill and the students of QMC and take part in a variety of workshops. Basingstoke Together has arranged a packed day of free activities for kids of all ages on Saturday 22 June in the town centre including an enchanted flower globe, puppets and a sand sculpture.
There are lots of opportunities to enjoy theatre: don’t miss comedy drama Shell Shock about a soldier’s return to civilian life or A Bitesized Conversation from Break the Wall and Fluid Motion in The Vyne Community School. Or why not take in al fresco Shakespeare with Proteus and the Festival Players?
Elsewhere, be spellbound by songs and fairytales with Strange Girls. Beautiful Monsters or take part in the festival smash-hit The Singing Psychic in The Tea Bar. The venue also hosts a range of live music as does the White Hart.
Budding authors will not want to miss Anna Bell’s Let’s Get Writing workshop in the Discovery Centre and budding artists should join PJ Preston for his Doodlefest!
Check out the full programme on the website or pick up a brochure around the borough.
The festival will come to a close with B LOVE, a weekend of live music, art and family fun in War Memorial Park on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July, bringing over 70 live music acts to the heart of the town. Main stage headliners include a Faithless DJ set from the group’s co-founder Sister Bliss, Toploader and SK Shlomo will perform his incredible Beatbox Adventure for Kids show.
There will also be a fantastic full range of free family entertainment including performances by Hikapee Circus Theatre, Joe Garbett Dance, Bootworks Theatre and Fit Up Productions with their pop up circus. Local community groups including choirs, dance and theatre groups will perform as part of the inspirational B AWESOME line-up.
The free Magical Forest in association with Scratchbuilt Productions and sponsored by Kiddi Caru is a haven for younger festivalgoers aged 12 and under (who are admitted free to the event with paying adults). Enter its welcoming space to find face-painting, den-building, arts, crafts, games, live animals and storytelling plus a chill-out area for babies and little ones.
Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Partnerships Cllr Simon Bound said: “Every year the festival gets bigger and better and we are very excited about what’s ahead for the 2019 event. There are many talented locals from Basingstoke and Deane, many of whom studied in the borough, playing a key role in the programme.
“There will be so many fantastic opportunities across the 17 days for people of all ages to participate in so many different forms of culture. Residents all across the borough will be able to experience ‘art in unexpected places’ and take part in all the fun of Basingstoke Festival.”
For more information on the full programme follow @BstokeFestival and @blovefestival on Twitter and Instagram, like @basingstokefestival on Facebook or log on to www.basingstokefestival.co.uk and www.blovemusic.com.