Wednesday 9 May 2012

Peterborough Arts Festival is back for 2012

The full line up for the Peterborough Arts Festival, organised by Vivacity Culture and Leisure and sponsored by Perkins Engines Company Limited, has now been announced.

This year’s Festival, which takes place from 30th June to 8th July, is set to be a magical feast of entertainment: from headliners Hard-Fi in Central Park, to Helter Skelters and Giant Elephants in Cathedral Square, to some of the best talent from the Edinburgh Festival at the Key Theatre. Whatever your taste in music, art, culture and entertainment, there’s bound to be something for you and your friends and family to enjoy. 

Peterborough Arts Festival kicks off with a Victorian Circus extravaganza in the city centre. On Saturday 30th June, Cathedral Square will be transformed by a multitude of extra-ordinary performances and entertainment. Come and be amazed by wonderful, bizarre, magical and hilarious performances popping up all over the Square to celebrate the Festival opening, featuring artists from around the world: Cirk Isis will be astounding crowds with their acrobatic trampoline act. Walking giants – a mechanical elephant and a giant Fire bird – will be witnessed touring the city centre. Or, you can get a different perspective on the city from the top of a Victorian Helter Skelter.

Then make your way over to the Key Theatre to experience the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing The Complete World of Sports – every sport ever played on every continent in the entire history of the world, in less than two hours …

Festival Plus returns for the second year with a week of dance, music, theatre, master classes and much more, from 2nd – 6th July. This year, Peterborough gets the opportunity to experience a taster of the world-renowned Edinburgh Festival material: leading comedic conjuror and star of the BBC’s The Magicians, Pete Firman, performs brand new material for his forthcoming Edinburgh appearance, as does Peterborough’s very own Mark Grist. Maison Foo will also be performing their Edinburgh Festival sell-out show, Memoirs of a Biscuit Tin, a topsy turvy tale for grown-ups. The week will end with the Key Theatre opening its doors to a Through the Looking Glass experience, with unexpected performances taking place in every corner.
The Peterborough Arts Festival also provides the back drop to the Olympic Torch Relay celebrations on the city’s Embankment on 3rd July, organised by Peterborough City Council working in partnership with Vivacity and Voyager Academy. World renowned Close Act will provide an unforgettable welcome to the Olympic Flame, and there will be an exclusive performance of the specially commissioned Song for Peterborough by schools and communities from across the city with the Peterborough Male Voice Choir. More information about the Olympic Torch Relay can be found at
The grand Festival Finale returns to Central Park on 7 – 8 July for a weekend of epic entertainment!

The fun begins on Saturday 7th July at 12 noon with the Demon Barbers turning traditional Morris dancing on its head with their memorable Time Gentlemen Please. Visitors can have a go themselves at the Big Dance Workshops taking place throughout the weekend.
Families will enjoy a visit to a vast (50ft!) inflatable whale, where they might encounter a shipwrecked Pirate and real live Mermaid, or a visit to the Monster Take Away, where you can create your very own custom monster. At the other end of the scale, you can visit the Insect Circus Museum to behold the Liberty Beetles and Cheeky Ladybirds!

Throughout the weekend, there will be entertainment in every corner, from live literature, acoustic performances, music workshops and art displays.

Headliners Hard-Fi round off Saturday’s fun with some of their much-loved hits plus new material from their newly released album. Sunday’s programme is kicked off with the award winning Peterborough Male Voice Choir and Peterborough Voices. Don’t miss the renowned Orchestra Da Camera, who will be performing music from all corners of the British Isles to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee on Sunday evening. Bring a picnic and enjoy a magical end to a magical Festival!

The 2012 Festival is sponsored by Perkins Engines Company Limited as part of their own 80th anniversary celebrations which take place this year. Perkins employees will participate directly in many parts of the Festival, with art, dance, poetry and music workshops and performances taking place at Perkins Eastfield facility in the lead up to the event. There will also be a dedicated Perkins exhibition within the Festival Community Zone in Central Park, which will celebrate the company’s eighty year heritage and involvement with Peterborough, and invite people of all ages to take a ‘hands on’ approach to engineering.

The Arts Festival is also supported by funding from Arts Council England, with the aim of growing the Peterborough Festival into a world class platform for artists and providing a strong arts focus for the city.

Lisa Helin, Vivacity’s Cultural Development Manager, commented:
‘This year’s line-up is the strongest ever, and we’re thrilled to be able to showcase such a range of artists in Peterborough. With the support of the Arts Council, we’ve been working closely with partners such as Norwich Arts Centre and SeaChange Arts in order bring in talented new musicians and leading international artists alongside more established names. We expect attendance to be the biggest ever, creating a fantastic profile for arts and heritage within Peterborough.’

Ennodio Ramos, Perkins Sales and Marketing Director, added:
‘We’re delighted to be working with Vivacity on this year’s Peterborough Arts Festival. We hope many of our employees and their families will take an active role in the two-week festival, which is going to be a great event for our city.’

The full programme of acts is available in the 2012 Festival brochure, available from
the Key Theatre and venues across the city, or via the dedicated Festival website, Ticketed events are now on sale from the Key Theatre Box Office on 01733 207239.

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