SO Festival 2014 prepares to bring the magic to East Lindsey

Entertainment in Louth at last year's SO Festival.
Entertainment in Louth at last year's SO Festival.

The SO Festival, now in it’s sixth year, will build upon its winning formula by bringing nine days of art, culture and sport to East Lindsey between June 28 and July 6.

Inspired by transport, journeys and travel, this year’s extravaganza will revive the centuries-old tradition of travelling entertainment, curiosities and wonderment as the festival once again visits East Lindsey’s market towns – starting in Horncastle on June 28, and visiting Tattershall Castle, Woodhall Spa, Alford, Louth, Mablethorpe and Spilsby before arriving in Skegness for the festival finale over the weekend of July 5-6.

Organised by ELDC with support from Arts Council England, SO Festival has become a staple part of East Lindsey’s annual events calendar as the event supports local businesses and invites the community to engage with exciting arts and culture experiences.

Portfolio Holder for Culture, Leisure and Tourism at the District Council, Councillor Adam Grist, said: “SO Festival has put East Lindsey on the cultural map for the past five years, enabling us to attract internationally renowned artists, as well as talented local performers – and this year’s event will be even more innovative and accessible, appealing to art lovers, as well as those seeking great summertime entertainment.

“Last year, SO Festival attracted an audience of over 90,000, and we anticipate that it will once again provide a huge boost to our local economy by encouraging new people to visit our district and enjoy our hotels, restaurants, shops and cultural sites.

“We look forward to partnering with local businesses throughout this year’s event to promote the festival and all that East Lindsey has to be proud of.”

As always, SO Festival offers something for everyone including Echo Funnel (Lizi Patch) – a beautiful copper funnel sprouting from a tree that listens to visitors’ questions and whispers its thoughts back to the audience.

There’s also the Sprite Symphony (Kristin & Davy McGuire), a magical installation commissioned by and developed for the Royal Shakespeare Company, which uses projections and sound to create an enchanting display of fairies trying to escape from the jam jar they are trapped in.

Another main attraction will be the magnificent Insect Circus – an incomparable show, menagerie and museum featuring a myriad of wonders, including a seven-foot tall Oriental performing snail renowned for its immense size and its gentle docility.

Hereford dance company, 2Faced Dance, will tour East Lindsey for nine days, bringing their all-male contemporary urban dance style to the festivals’ performance ring. Performing their acrobatic and humorous piece titled ‘Two Old Men’, 2Faced Dance will be one of several traveling acts touring the region throughout the event.

Without Walls makes its return to SO Festival with compelling outdoor art productions, including a gangster re-imagining of Goethe’s Faust performed by Newcastle hip-hop dance group, Southpaw Dance Company.

Also confirmed to be part of Without Walls are Les Enfants Terrible – who will bring their Marvelous Imaginary Menagerie to East Lindsey featuring a unique combination of Vaudeville acts, live musicians, puppeteers and storytelling – and Inspector Sands, bringing their witty, strange and epic promenade audio tour, A High Street Odyssey, to this year’s event.

Peter Knott, Area Director of Arts Council England commented: “SO Festival continues to grow in popularity year on year, and we’re thrilled to be playing a part in bringing the event back toLincolnshire for 2014. With an intriguing theme and dynamic new programme, this year’s festival is sure to bring exceptional talent to the region, whilst also supporting homegrown artists and performers.

“As well as fantastic performances and great art, this festival is bringing economic confidence and growth to Lincolnshire. Working in partnership with the people at East Lindsey District Council is a pleasure because they understand and value the huge benefit that work like this can bring to a location.”

SO Festival recruited a new Festival Director, Lorna Fulton, who said: “I’m really looking forward to the challenge of taking SO Festival to the next level.

“Our goal this year is to bring art, people and places together while providing the opportunity to not only see great works of art, but also to be part of the show. The travelling entertainment theme will help us achieve this, as events and festivities move across the district.”