Summer of 2012 Fever….. Ideas for your weekend, all over the UK

It’s hard to understand, what with us having this super-gross-and-vile wet Summer, but there really is a festival spirit going on this year. For whatever reason people are getting excited (be it that big games thing, the Jubilee, or maybe even the rain if you like rain, or if you’re a duck) there is so much going on all over the country….. it would be a great year to have a helicopter to get about and do everything, but if you’re not so lucky then there is sure to be something going on within a bus ride away from you.

Here’s a little round up of exciting adventures I’ve spotted, and would go to if I had a helicopter…. Enjoy!

Ems x

Dance Photography Exhibition by Tim Cross

An exhibition of striking performance images taken by Tim Cross-an artist whose two passions in life are dance and photography. Also, archive footage from the Royal Opera House and costumes on loan from the Royal Baller School.7am-9pm each day.

The Forum Trust, Millennium Plain, Bethel Street, Norwich, Norfolk

Latin American Tea Dance with Wurlitzer & Learn to Dance sessions

Latin American Tea Dance to the sounds of the Mighty Wurlitzer organ which rises up from beneath the stage in the Museum’s concert hall. Additionally, there will be a DJ’s selection of popular dance music and an interval for refreshments. The event is suitable for all levels, no partner necessary and includes two learn to dance sessions featuring the Rumba, Cha-cha and a sequence dance. The hall has a fully sprung dance floor and offers a fun relaxing environment to glide in your own “Strictly” session. 

399 High Street, Brentford, Brent, West London

Rhythms of the World Festival

The Rhythms of the World festival, originally organised by the local Oxfam campaigns groups, has evolved into one of the biggest – and best value – world music festivals in the UK with over 31,000 attending in 2011. People come from all sectors of the community and the event features both local talent as well as artists from around the world.

Hitchin Priory, Tilehouse Street, Hitchin, Hertfordshire

Pleasance Ahoy: Tall Tales from the Riverbank – Comedy Barge

A Comedy Relay on a narrow boat, follows a group of comics and their guests as they embark from London on a watery adventure…… Destination the Edinburgh Festival! During the journey, impromptu pop-up comedy gigs are performed to dedicated crowds in various secret inland locations, and along the river bank from the roof of the boat. 

The comedians will explore the heritage of the UK waterways, interviewing the people they meet along the way, investigating local traditions and quirks. There are 4 pop-up comedy gigs performed at various secret locations in the UK near London, Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Four gigs will take place in Scotland. The entire journey can be followed by GPS and satellite on the web, and the daily digital logbook will contain blogs, podcasts, interviews and recordings of the shows, and much more watery madness.

Happy Days, International Beckett Festival

HAPPY DAYS is the world’s first annual festival to celebrate the work and influence of Nobel Prize-winning writer Samuel Beckett. HAPPY DAYS will take place each year in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, where Beckett spent his formative years attending Portora Royal School. Enniskillen is at the heart of the Fermanagh Lakelands, amidst of the most beautiful landscape in Europe. The inaugural HAPPY DAYS takes place 23rd – 27th August 2012 with FREE visual arts events from 3rd July. The Festival is collaborating with the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, and coincides with the 400th anniversary of the founding of Enniskillen.

Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

The Humble Market: Trade Secrets

Part performance, part experience, Trade Secrets presents us with an universe threatened with complete control. Using the lens of the marketplace to ask, “What do we really trade? What should be traded? And what cannot be bought?” Trade Secrets is inspired by the spectacular rise of Brazil as an economic power and the trading cities of the Northwest in the UK and Southeast in Brazil. Through a choreographed journey of interactive vehicles expect intimate provocations that confront us with the follies of mass consumerism. 

FACT (Foundation For Art & Creative Technology), 88 Wood Street, Liverpool, Merseyside

Stan’s Cafe: Of All The People in All The World

Theatre company, Stan’s Cafe are bringing 989kg of rice to the RSC, a grain for everyone in the country. An array of local and global human statistics will be weighed out in rice and arranged in labelled piles by a team of auditors.The work will evolve and respond to real time events, news and performances as they happen during the World Shakespeare Festival. By presenting statistics in tangible form, Stan’s Cafe, for 2012, will create for us a playful and at times politically charged work of art.

PACCAR Room, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon

Marie Thereza Alves – Ballast Seed Garden

Seeds of Change is the overall title of an ongoing ballast seed garden project from Brazilian artist Maria Thereza Alves. When ships came into port in Bristol they were weighed down with ballast (earth, sand, rocks, etc) which they dumped onto the river banks. In this ballast were seeds carried from ports and regions (and their regional trading partners) involved in trade with Europe. These seeds, which can lie dormant for hundreds of years, germinated and grew, contributing to the development of the ‘European’ landscape.

Working with the University of Bristol Botanic Garden, Arnolfini and Bristol City Council and utilising a disused grain barge, Maria Thereza Alves has created a Ballast Seed Garden on Bristol’s Floating Harbour, populated with a variety of non-native plants, creating a living history of the city’s trade and maritime past.

The design of the floating garden has been developed by German designer Gitta Gschwendtner in close collaboration with the artist Maria Thereza Alves and Nick Wray of University of Bristol Botanic Garden.

Bristol Floating Harbour, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol


6 thoughts on “Summer of 2012 Fever….. Ideas for your weekend, all over the UK

  1. Very cool, I didn’t know about the seeds in the ballast. It’s amazing how things travelled across the continents once ocean travel began.

    I can’t believe the rain this summer can you? We are hardly venturing out at the weekend (let alone the evening) because we expect yet another downpour, and it seems to be getting worse, at least on the south coast. Hoping Mr. Sun comes out soon before we submerge…

    • I know! I’d love to see that one, it’s just fascinating and such a great project!

      It’s just so hard to plan anything with the weather at the moment….let alone what to wear! It was glorious when I went out yesterday morning, so I left in the evening with plimsoles and no umbrella, only to get caught in a long downpour!

      I think the worst thing though is all the events that have been forced to cancel. Weather like this has such an impact on businesses!

      • The Olympic Torch was in Weymouth yesterday evening, and they had arranged a big beach party with concerts etc. Woke yesterday to lovely sunshine which was rare, but by 10am the rain started, and it was heavy and solid until bed time and beyond. Very sad.

        Last month we had the 3 Cunard Queens in Southampton for the Jubilee, and the rain came down in buckets all day, forcing the celebrations to be mostly cancelled. Same last week with all 7 P&O ships in port to celebrate their 175th anniversary. Rain like you wouldn’t believe.

        I hope this weekend is better, it’s supposed to improve by Sunday. No doubt while the Olympics are on it will be 35+ and people will be dying of heat-stroke – then back to the cold and rain again.

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