Groundbreaking Commission Work Announced by Northern Festivals Network

As the breathtaking latest commission from the Northern Festivals Network is announced, we look at the work behind the scenes.

Set to take families and festivals nationally and internationally by storm, the latest commission from the Northern Festivals Network “Marie Celestial” is a walking, mechanical, art installation and street theatre show, incorporating aerial circus performance, music and pyrotechnics.

Festivals across the UK have also contributed to the kick-starter project which helped fund The Marie Celestial which will tour to festivals in the UK then go overseas – a landmark moment for UK outdoor arts and a pioneering shift in how the UK festivals network are working together. Commissioning exciting new work from UK artists here rather than importing it from Europe.

This has invited an exciting opportunity for the dynamic network to co-commission with Glastonbury. “Co-commissioning this work with Glastonbury has meant that we’re able to offer an artist a substantial amount of funds for development, and also an extended tour across the UK. We’re so excited that a national audience will get to see this incredible work.” Cathryn, manager of the NFN consortium explains.

Funds that were awarded to the successful commission, Ruby Soho have seen her work internationally on the project “Marie Celestial”. Natalia Clavier, formerly from Theivery Corp has produced the ethereal soundtrack that accompanies the lavishly large steampunk ship, which will move through festival sites.

Festivals set to book this work include Shambala, Festival No.6, Kendal Calling, Ramsbottom Festival, and Just So Festival, with the debut at an immersive carnival event, The Lost Carnival.

The Northern Festivals Network was founded with the express aim to increase the amount of high quality arts for families at festivals, “Its our belief that what is offered to families should be as engaging, inspiring and breathtaking as what is on the main stage”, director of Just So festival, Sarah Bird says.

Just So Festival initially joined forces along with Kendal Calling and Ramsbottom Festival and have seen an additional six festivals join their cause through support from the Arts Council Strategic Touring Fund.

Larger stalwarts of the festival circuit such as Festival No.6 and Deershed, sit side-by-side intimate affairs such as Funny As Folk, Cloudspotting and Fire In The Mountain, as well as folk favourite Underneath The Stars.

The best UK talent is being showcased across the festivals through the network. Families can expect to see range from large scale Battleships at Festival No 6, led by sea-faring sailors Mufti Does Games, dystopian acrobatics from Acrojou at Ramsbottom Festival, vintage tap dancers from Sole Rebel Tap at Just So Festival, as well as family favourites Pif-Paf, who are set with their Flycycle to take families at Deershed on a theatrical promenade experience.