Get set for Bracknell's Big Day OutBy Caroline Cook
September 13, 2012
The biggest, boldest and brightest festival in Bracknell is back this year – and organisers are hoping it will be better than ever.
Fanfares will be ringing out across South Hill Park as street performers, musical groups and dancers whirl and twirl around the grounds for the Big Day Out on Saturday.
“There’s a great selection of bands,” said William Trevelyan, a former music officer at South Hill Park who is independently producing the festival.
“We’ve got Alexandra Legouix from Bracknell, she’s a great new artist, and there’s Hoopy Frood who have never played the festival before.
“We’ve also got the Soundblast Sinfonia who are brilliant. They were created out of the festival and they’ve got people from Bracknell Wokingham and Reading.
“We’ve also got some great bands from abroad like La Fanfare En Petard who are playing their first UK performance since 2009.”
Fans of the festival, which is now in its seventh year, will be welcoming it back with open arms after it was cancelled last year due to funding shortages.
“It’s been good to have a year off and to have the Park Life festival as a small event in its place,” says William, whose company Pitch Black secured funding from the Arts Council for this year’s event.
“Last year was more like a rest year really and it’s great to have it back and to have so much interest,” he adds.
“So many people have been calling me saying it’s great the festival is returning. It’s very good to have that kind of response.”
As well as boasting a selection of musical acts, the festival also offers exciting and colourful performances which will be going on around the grounds.
“We’re very excited about a new show for kids by a group called Weirdy Beardies,” said William.
“They’re putting on The Nerdy Birdies which is about a group of bird watchers who turn into birds of paradise.”
Artists in residence at South Hill Park will also be building a castle in the grounds during the day made entirely out of cardboard.
There will also be inflatable games and a singing workshop by Perhaps Contraptions to get children ready for a parade at 5.20pm.
This year’s event will be based around the Olympiad with themes of youth and a sustainable environment.
“We have got quite a lot of links to the Olympiad this year which is exciting and it’s one of the last festivals of the summer so it’s like the last hurrah,” says William.
“There are a lot of themes which are linked to the Olympiad, like human spirit, courage and sustainability. You will get a really enjoyable experience but you will also have moments where you can pause for thought.”
There will also be a chance for children aged seven to 16 to take part in five workshops inspired by the Olympics, including gymnastics, circus skills and stage combat.
With a bustle of activity going on outside throughout the day organisers are hoping for a burst of late September sunshine to top things off.
“I’m very much looking forward to it,” says William.
“It’s been a really big success in the past and we have had a great time every year. We’re hoping the sun comes out too!”
The fun starts at 1pm. Tickets are £10 in advance, £5 for under 18s and free for under 12s. On the day, they are £12 for adults or £7 for under 18s. Under 12s are free. To book visit www.southhillpark.org.uk
There will be a free bus service running from Bracknell Bus Station to South Hill Park courtesy of Courtney Buses. Buses will run to and from the site every hour.