Night of Festival's Tour 2013/14
For this new touring model ArtReach designed a more compact Night of Festivals – something that could arrive in a park, high-street or other public space overnight and leap into action.
The Night of Festival’s tour still included our friends Mandinga Arts and Paraiso Samba, but there was no large scale street procession or Big Stage…. instead Night of Festivals delivered its high impact spectacle through a unique programme of Carnival Interventions, Storytelling, Moving Image in the Nanoplex, a series of Participatory Installations and Live Performance in the City Arts Performance Dome.
After the Festival's success in 2010 and 2012, ArtReach decided to take its multi artform celebration of freedom to new towns and cities, to work with new participants and meet new audiences...
...but we still started in Nottingham, the original home of Night of Festivals!
The Festival then went on to the bright lights of Boston (Lincolnshire), Slough and Leicester.
Mandinga Pig Costumes
Mandinga Giant Skeleton
From a nearby Carnival HQ around 100 community participants burst into the Festival! Suited and booted with Mandinga's vibrant and engaging costumes these local carnival participants spread over the festival, played with the audience and occasionally frightened a shopkeeper or two...
Carnival Intervention happen regularly throughout each day.
Working with the Matlock Storytelling Cafe, ArtReach took traditional stories and new tales from cultures across the world to share with audiences both young and old. Many first timers say that they thought stories were just for children – then return again…. and again.
All our stories were told inside the cosy Mongolian Yurt, on cushions, stalls and bean bags!
Meet the quirky ArtReach Nanoplex!
This old touring caravan has been given a new lease of life as a small, surround sound moving image gallery. With seating for 12 people the Nanoplex is a key part of Night of Festivals, screening shorts from artists and moving image makers who respond to the Festivals theme of celebrating freedom and democracy.
If you'd like to present a short piece at Night of Festivals, or hire the ArtReach Nanoplex, then drop us an email to
Inspired by the use of cloth in protests for freedom and democracy in the Middle- East, Alinah Azadeh worked with participants in Night of Festivals Touring locations to explore what FREEDOM means to them, and how this can be depicted through words, images or symbols. The 1,500 multi-coloured flags subsequently created were installed in the Performance Dome, and grew and grew as the Festival moved on and met with more audiences and participants.
Ali Pretty & Kinetika
ArtReach commissioned international artist Ali Pretty (Artistic Director, Kinetika), to work with local artists to design, develop and create a 40m piece of silk that reflected Leicester and its communities. Participants explored the city and designed a Freedom Tapestry that included images of the Ghandi Statue, Curve theatre, the Caribbean Carnival and even some Tigers & Foxes.
The 40m piece of silk was then displayed at Curve as part of its 2014 Diwali Celebrations.
Housed in the City Arts Performance Dome, Night of Festivals presented an exceptional line-up of culturally diverse and inspiring performers, some of whom had created work especially to share with Festival audiences. The 2013/14 programme included dance, live music, shadow puppetry, comedy, spoken word, theatre, a drum circle, and a sound installation contrasting the sounds of Leicester and Cairo in the wake of the Arab Springs.
For more information on participating artists see the artists section of the website.