2017's Weekend of Wonders brought over 2,000 people into Weston to enjoy a smorgasbord of outdoor performance that left everyone gasping with pleasure. Over 70% of visitors scored the event a perfect 5/5, and nearly half of those attending had come especially for WOW. This year we are back with a real Saturday smasher (29 Sep); a jaw-dropping array of things to see and do, and opportunities aplenty for local people to take part in creative workshops in the run-up. Presented for the enjoyment of locals and tourists alike are acts from near and far - Invisible Circus, Ramshacklicious, Ragroof, Southpaw, Bullzinis, Acrojou, Joan Catala, Mufti Games and more. From high-wire high thrills to ground-based acrobatics, there is plenty to energise... and for those who want to get up and shake their stuff, join a mass dance-off or oom pah pah with the Band at the end of the World. One giant garden party for all the family to enjoy! Your pledges will keep this absolutely free!
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
1. Makes Weston a destination for tourism out of the peak holiday period. Helping the local economy 2. People feel positive about where they live 3. Top motivations for going to outdoor arts events are 'to be entertained' and 'to spend time with friends and family' Great for community cohesion! 4. Enables local people of all backgrounds to get active and take part in music, dance and performance art workshops prior to the event 5. Carefully curated activity that reimagines and celebrates the seaside culture of Weston e.g. the brass band at the end of the world, giant battleships or contemporary dance carousel! 6. Free of charge 7. Appealing to all the family. Outdoor arts events attract an audience of all ages, particularly strong in the younger (16-24 & 25-34) and middle range (35-44 and 45-54) ages 8. Diverse, international artists feed into the culture of the town and expand horizons 9. Brings the newly refurbished Italian Gardens to glorious life!
Steps to get it done:
In the run up, selected artists will be working with residents of the South and Central wards, two of WsM's most deprived wards. South Ward falls in the bottom 1% of the UK's social and deprivation index. Connection with arts, both as audience and participants can transform feelings of well-being, pride of place and provide an all-singing, all-dancing catalyst to getting active. Our routes to participation will be working with partners including Alliance Homes, Carlton Centre and the schools network. As per 2016, we will also feed circus entertainment into the South Ward's Federation of Schools Big Day Out (over 2,000 primary children), which last year elicited ecstatic feedback such as "The Best Day Of My Life". The mix of engagement work, participatory performance, promenade acts that spill out into the town, and flagship shows at the Italian Gardens will make Weston-super-Mare the WOW place to be!
About the space
Italian Gardens, Weston-super-Mare
North Somerset Council