It has been a very busy and exciting Summer for the Harwich Festival. Back in June we ran the Clacton Beside the Seaside Festival. It was one of the hottest days of the year and thousands enjoyed the music stage, buskers, street entertainment and children’s area.
This was quickly followed by the main Harwich Festival which had over 40 events in about 20 different venues. We held 20 ticketed events and sold 1075 tickets and our free Lunch Time Concerts attracted an average audience of 80 people.
The 20cm x 20cm Open Exhibition attracted 520 submissions of artwork from the local community all of which were exhibited. Footfall for the exhibition was recorded at over 800 visitors across 11 days. The Old Bank Studios also recorded a similar footfall for their HF exhibition.
HF17 saw three public art projects, ‘Beached Willow, Urban Knitting and Making Waves. Thousands of local people and visitors enjoyed these works and the Willow Whale, featured on ITV News, and Making Waves are still attracting visitors today.
We also ran a Micro Festival at the Bandstand in Cliff Park called ‘Up to 20’. HF17 opened up performance opportunities to the wider community and 30 artists took part. Their 20-minute performances were spread over 6 days to an average audience of 50. It was good to get the Bandstand back in use.
HF17 invited local film makers to submit short films (no longer than 10 mins in length) to be screened at the Electric Palace as part of the Harwich Shorts Film Festival. 26 films were screened over 4 days with the total recorded audience exceeding 200.
If all of the above was not enough we then proceeded to organise the Dovercourt Beside the Seaside Festival. Again, we were blessed with good weather and it is generally agreed that Dovercourt Seafront and Beach Huts have not been as busy for a very long time. With so many people there were bound to be issues with toilets and lack of catering outlets but these can be fixed for a future occasion. We would like to thank the Beach Hut Association and all the amenities holders for their cooperation.
These activities could not happen without our sponsors, Tendring District Council, Harwich Town Council, Essex County Council and The Essex Community Foundation as well as all our volunteers and interns. The Harwich Festival will be continuing with some of these projects and adding new ones soon. These are exciting times and we would love more people to get involved. If you feel you would like to be part of the Festival please contact us via our website, www.harwichfestival.co.uk, or come into the Box Office in Harwich Library for a chat.
Artistic Director Harwich Festival
Peter Davis Artistic Director Harwich Festival
Migration, exile, and belonging
Marion Molteno talks about the inspiration behind her prize-winning novels: her encounters with people who have migrated or been displaced, and her international work with Save the Children.
If you can walk, you can dance
[winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize]
Beautifully written, entertaining and moving, the story of a young woman’s life on the run across frontiers, cultures and life-styles – from apartheid South Africa, 1970s alternative London, Swaziland and Zambia – to find a new meaning in music.
‘An exhilarating book that celebrates the power of music as universal language, healer, political tool – the thread that links humankind across cultures and continents.’
Diana Burrell, composer, former director of the Harwich Festival
‘Epic breadth and intimate detail combines to build to a poignant crescendo.’
The Sunday Times
[short-listed for 2 international prizes]
High in the mountains of Tajikistan people have been fleeing from a devastating civil war. When rebels abduct inspirational UN peace negotiator, Rahul Khan, the lives of his closest friends begin to unravel.
‘A terrifically absorbing, topical and quietly affecting novel of interlocking worlds and relationships.’
‘A moving and necessary book – with characters who will remain with me for a very long time.’
Alastair Niven – Judge of the 2014 Man Booker Prize
‘A tender love story, set among the ruins of war and hopelessness. Molteno spins her new work of fiction around an actual hostage-taking, and weaves a fictional story of courage and survival, and much more.’ Financial Express, Calcutta
Marion’s Blog – http://www.marionmolteno.co.uk/my-blog/Read More