Droitwich ArtsFest 2018 Ends

After four weeks and five weekends, Droitwich ArtsFest has ended after a fantastic month filled with a wide variety of artistic events.

Sing and Tonic choire

The festival got off to a very hot start on 30th June with events taking place in the open air in brilliant sunshine. Following announcements by Droitwich Town Crier, Edgar Harwood, Droitwich Deputy Mayor, Councillor Bill Moy, and Nigel Huddleston MP, shoppers in St Andrews Square enjoyed an afternoon of dance including Belly Dancing, Salsa, and Zumba. That day was also the first day of a free art exhibition by members of Droitwich Arts Network (DAN) in the Gallery Room of Droitwich Library, together with the annual exhibition of International MailArt.

Droitwich Ukulele Club

During the first week Droitwich professional musician, Keith Slater, expertly delivered his 60’s Celebration to a highly appreciative audience. Then on Saturday 7th July, people were drawn to the interactive People’s Gallery, and the day ended with an open-air music event in St Andrews Square shopping centre.

RMA

During the second week, Emily Hastings of “Acting Up” led a Mime and Improvisation workshop when the participants had fun gaining an insight into the skills and mental attitude required for acting. On Saturday 14th ArtsFest not only provided opportunities for families including the creation of a dragon, face painting, and art activities with salt, but also two sketching walks for adults, all to the accompaniment of music and dance provided by pupils of Droitwich Spa High School.

The Fidgets

During the third week three authors performed “30-40-60” a multi-media event with readings about Womanhood containing moments of both humour and sadness. Saturday 21st saw members of DAN demonstrating their work in Victoria Square, while prose and poetry readings took place in St Andrews Square. Budding photographers joined a photo walk, and additional surprises were created by a close-up magician. Park’s Café hosted another successful Poetry Extravaganza that evening.

Tristan Harris

The fourth week ended with local musicians presenting The Best of Droitwich – “Last Night of the Proms” in St Andrew’s Church. The performers were Droitwich Ukulele Band, Members of the Norbury Theatre, Droitwich Community Choir, Glynn Diggit, the Hussingtree Chorale, and international organist, Keith Hearnshaw. Every seat was occupied and the programme including favourites such as Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia, and Jerusalem.

The concluding Saturday, 28th July saw the finale of this year’s ArtsFest with music on the hour, every hour, in St Andrews Square. The day started with easy listening music from RMA, followed by Sing and Tonic. Next, the Editor of the Standard, Tristan Harris with his amusing experiences as a newspaper editor, before Droitwich Ukulele Club performed a very popular repertoire. Mandy Harding played saxophone and Helen Pearson sang well known favourites from the 1940s to the 1970s. The day ended with music from The Fidgets. The weather broke during the final day of ArtsFest but all the musicians gave very professional performances, occasionally in heavy rain.

This year’s ArtsFest has been a great success. Not only did we had beautiful weather, but the variety of events on offer has encouraged great participation from both DAN members and the general public.

The public may not be aware that Droitwich ArtsFest is run totally by DAN members with some outside help. Similar festivals are organised by local councils with a whole workforce to call upon.

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