The line-up has been revealed for the new Rochdale Borough Festival of Ideas, which is being staged from March 4 – 9.
Around the themes of imagine, create and discover; visitors to the free festival will be able to experience more than 20 events, including visual arts, music, live performances, thought-provoking talks, interactive installations and more, as originality and imagination are celebrated.
The festival opens in eye-catching style on Monday evening with a bold and colourful light show at Rochdale Town Hall to mark its re-opening.
The light show will be set to a new soundtrack created especially for the event and afterwards visitors will be able to explore the building and be among the first members of the public through the doors of the re-born Victorian Gothic Grade I-listed masterpiece.
During the festival the world famous Black Dyke Brass Band will be performing two special evening concerts at Rochdale Town Hall.
In a mass act of celebration of young people’s ideas, the festival is working with 1,850 school children to generate 10,000 brilliant ideas. Embracing creative thinking, every one of the ideas will nurture ingenuity and innovation with hands-on workshops led by local artists before all the ideas will be displayed as part of one giant sculpture on display at Rochdale Town Hall that will be available to view.
The festival will also see a world premiere of a stunning outdoor installation – ‘The Living Dress,’ a large-scale naturally-dyed, handmade dress worn by a beautiful huge five-metre high sculpture. Using sustainable dyeing processes, the dress will be made with the help of local women using a hybrid of ancient techniques and modern practices.
Fluid Motion Theatre will present their performance installation in four locations across the borough. ‘Take Ten’ invites you to relax and take a moment on colourful swing chairs, guided by a soundtrack that encourages you to sit comfortably, swing gently and breathe deeply. The ground-breaking artistic performance is created in collaboration with Lorna Rees of Gobbledegook Theatre, around the idea of mental wellbeing, underpinned by the ‘Five steps to mental wellbeing.’
Muslim Hikers, the largest community in the world for Muslims interested in the outdoors, will be holding a Beginners’ Hike, aiming to improve the diversity in rural spaces, while tackling loneliness and connecting communities. Trained guides will lead you on a gentle hike through some of the borough’s beauty spots, connecting you to each other and the surrounding green spaces.
Power Up – a fast-paced and engaging event where you can try your hand at an exciting range of ESports games will be hosted in partnership with Hopwood Hall College, while Move Manchester will presents ‘Zugzwang’ – a dynamic dance performance (pictured) set on a giant chess board.
Last year festival organisers asked local artists and groups to submit their ideas, with five selected. These ideas have been commissioned in partnership with The Culture Co-op, Rochdale borough’s Creative People and Places Programme, funded by Arts Council England.
Emma Reynolds, author-illustrator of ‘Drawn to Change the World: 16 Youth Climate Activists, 16 Artists’ hosts a day of comic-making workshop to show how the power of imagination and art can transform our collective future. Learn about activists around the world and how community action has made change throughout history.
Further details of the line-up along with dates and venues are at rochdale.gov.uk/