High time for Devizes Festival’s return
12:00pm Friday 23rd August 2013 in Latest News
THE Devizes International Street Festival is bigger than ever this year.
The festival, on Sunday and Monday, has circus performers, street theatre artists and bands from all over the world.
There will be 41 artists appearing at the festival, compared to 30 last year. It is held as part of Devizes Carnival fortnight and expanded into a second day last year.
Artistic director Dave Buxton said: “We did it as a trial last year to see if it worked. It was very popular. I’m very pleased with what we are offering, it’s the biggest programme we have ever set. We have tried to build it up and to find new and exciting acts.”
The festival is in its 13th year and Mr Buxton, who is standing down as artistic director after this year, said it had gained a reputation as one of the best.
He said: “It started off small and it grew from the grass roots. We have a good track record, which has led to us attracting funding from the Arts Council and others. We are well known and respected outside Devizes by other festivals for what we do and we get contacted by artists who want to perform.
“We really are on the map as a centre for street artists. It is one of the biggest street festivals in the south west. Even Bristol doesn’t do anything as big as this.”
The festival is free and this year will cost more than £60,000, which is paid for by grants and the organisers, Devizes Outdoor Celebratory Arts, generating sponsorship from local businesses.
On Sunday, The Green will host acts specialising in contemporary circus including Collectif & Then and Circle of Two. Jessica Arpin, from Switzerland, will bring her contemporary clowning on a bicycle in her first performance at a UK festival while Max Calaf, from Spain, is set to wow the audience with his trampoline show. The day will end with a spectacular installation of light using hundreds of points of fire on The Crammer.
On Monday the entertainment is in the Market Place, St John’s Street, The Brittox and Marport Street.
Third year students from Winchester University who are studying street arts are among the acts, plus Fraser Hooper, who used to live in West Lavington and has a reputation as a world class clown. Wedhampton storyteller Roger Day will entertain youngsters while Chris Bull will attempt a daring high wire walk between the former Polly Tea Rooms cafe and Strakers letting office in the Market Place at 4.15pm Bands appearing include Delhi2Dublin and Senegalese musician Diabel Cissokho, who plays the 15 strong kora.
Programmes featuring all the times of the performances are available from local shops, priced at £2.
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