Northern Festivals Network announce enthralling family outdoor arts programme this summer

The Northern Festivals Network announce their 2017 programme of spellbinding arts programming for family audiences. Led by Wild Rumpus, award-winning producers of the Just So Festival, the network includes some of the most exciting and varied festivals in the UK today (in date order bluedot, Underneath The Stars, Cloudspotting,  Kendal Calling,  Just So, Festival Number 6 and Head For The Hills (Ramsbottom) Festival). Now in its second year of Arts Council strategic touring funding, these festivals continue their shared commitment to raise the bar of family programming at greenfield festivals, increasing the amount of high quality touring arts for families and creating an environment where it can thrive.

Highlights include:

2 major new commissions with Unlimited Impact which seek to address the underrepresentation of work by disabled artists for both outdoor spaces and family audiences:

The Adventures of Snigel by performance artist and choreographer Caroline Bowditch enables young audiences to adventure with Snigel, a curious snail who loves bubbles and join her on her journey to discover where the bubbles come from (Kendal Calling, Just So, Head For The Hills (Ramsbottom) Festival).

Between Stillness And Storm is a large-scale sculptural installation by leading artists Aiden Moesby and Tim Shaw exploring how the weather and our state of mind are linked. Aiming to provoke contemplation and wonder and developed in response to each festival site, the beautiful, kinetic piece will generate audio and visual responses to changing weather conditions, in daylight and at night.

Combining traditional and contemporary techniques for “sensing” the weather such as senors, solar panels, anemometers and Crooke’s radiometers and using the weather itself as a source of power, the devices will form a field of ‘islands’ for festivalgoers to walk through and experience weather observations and recordings translated into sound, light and motion (bluedot, Underneath The Stars, Cloudspotting, Kendal Calling, Just So, Head For The Hills (Ramsbottom) Festival).

The opportunity to see world class brand new performance:

How I Hacked My Way Into Space – step inside Unlimited Theatre’s custom designed Space Shed for a storytelling show of  how the smallest person can achieve their seemingly impossible dreams (bluedot, Just So, Festival No 6).

Meet Wilford, a rockabilly tree planting anarch-nomad in Seed, the brand new captivating show from visual and physical theatre company Pif-Paf (bluedot, Underneath The Stars, Kendal Calling, Just So, Head For The Hills (Ramsbottom) Festival).

Ian Douglas, resident storyteller to end all storytellers will be regaling family festivalgoers with tall tales from curious lands and the opportunity to encounter Madam Bridget whose songs, slight of hand and mindreading will leave you agog (Underneath The Stars, Cloudspotting, Just So).

Look out for Them Two Dance on their tandem bicycle who will be encouraging festivalgoers to perform Random Acts of Kindness (Underneath The Stars, Head For The Hills (Ramsbottom) Festival).

Kitsch and Sync Collective will be welcoming audiences to the weird and wacky world of Ecstatic Cinema – a theatrical comedy ‘Drive-in Movie’ experience like no other. Meet the ditsy usherettes and join them in singing and dancing in the aisles (Underneath The Stars, Just So, Festival No 6, Head For The Hills (Ramsbottom) Festival).

Step into a nest, learn birdsong and get ready to take flight for the first time in Flit Flap Fly – a squawking adventure for young children with live music from theatre company and band Fine Chisel (Cloudspotting, Just So, Festival No 6, Head For The Hills (Ramsbottom) Festival).

Make fairy tales and dreams come to life and be part of a theatre company for a day in Gypsy Caravan Theatre (Kendal Calling, Just So, Head For The Hills (Ramsbottom) Festival).

Encounter curious contraptions and wonderful worlds presented by ‘janitors of the ridiculous’ Rag & Bone (Kendal Calling, Just So, Head For The Hills (Ramsbottom) Festival).

Join Can-Can extraordinarie Lucie Labadie for high energy dance workshops and Cabaret shows (Cloudspotting, Just So Festival, Festival No 6).

The Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band will be thrilling audiences with music, dance and spectacular feats (bluedot, Just So Festival, Festival No 6).

These touring performances will form part of the unmissable family offer at each individual festival.

Cathryn Peach, Northern Festivals Network Manager says “We believe that the family arts programming should be just as inspiring and engaging, as brilliant and clever, as what’s on the main stage. Not only that but it’s a great opportunity to engage families who don’t necessarily think that the arts are for them, surprising them with the most imaginative theatre, magnificent installations and immersive walkabout. We are thrilled to be working with some of the most talented artists and performers creating outdoor work in the UK today to present sensational new experiences for family festival audiences this summer. ”

Artists, companies, festivals and venues who would like to find out more can contact Cathryn Peach, Creative Producer cathryn.peach@wildrumpus.org.uk 07812 671 908.

For press enquiries, images or interviews please contact Gemma Gibb gemma.gibb@wildrumpus.org.uk 07958 700 818