Out There festival set to expand to Yarmouth seafront

UK company Southpaw will perform Carousel, an enthralling tale of the fairground after dark, on one

UK company Southpaw will perform Carousel, an enthralling tale of the fairground after dark, on one of the two new Great Yarmouth seafront sites for the Out There International Festival of Circus and Street Arts funded by an Arts Council grant secured by the Great Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area. - Credit: Dave Charnley

Spectacular, quirky and breath-taking international performances will take place along Great Yarmouth seafront in this year's Out There Festival with the help of a £70,000 grant.

Some of the world's best circus and street arts performers will take shows and acts to the heart of the Golden Mile to spread the entertainment for more visitors to enjoy and seafront businesses to benefit from the unique three-day celebration of the weird and wonderful.

After-dark pyrotechnics, projections, a music stage and promenade theatre are just some of the acts planned for the new Upfront programme at two sites around Trafalgar Square and Trafalgar Road, and at the Sea Life Centre Gardens in September.

The new sites will be funded with a £70,000 grant from the Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts programme, secured by the Great Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA).

The GYTABIA will match-fund the grant with another £10,000 making an £80,000 boost for the popular Out There Festival event, and work in partnership with organisers SeaChange Arts.

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The GYTABIA applied for the grant to help spread festival action from its St George's Park base to the seafront to help restaurants, attractions, cafes and pubs benefit from the thousands of visitors enticed into Great Yarmouth by the eccentric acts.

Cafes, pubs and restaurants will be encouraged to expand 'al fresco' to join in with the festival spirit.

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The open performance sites will be transformed into 'visually stunning and welcoming environments' by decoration, signage and seating.

Gareth Brown, GYTABIA chairman, said Upfront was designed to link the main festival area, St George's Park, to the sea front because it had previously 'suffered from a disconnect' between the park and rest of the town.

'Out There is a unique and exciting event, which brings international world-class culture to Great Yarmouth and helps to extend the season into mid-September, enticing so many visitors of all ages into the town and wider area from the UK and from overseas.

'We wanted to involve Great Yarmouth's main tourist area in the event with a programme, during the day and night, to help bring extra business to seafront traders and attractions so we applied for the grant.

'We are delighted to have been awarded that grant and will work in collaboration with SeaChange to support it to bring more art to more public spaces across the town.

'The festival raises the profile of Great Yarmouth as a destination and is an important weekend in our cultural calendar.

'We hope visitors will use the bars and restaurants and remain on the seafront in the evenings after the shows, staying longer and visit more attractions and use more local businesses during their visit.'

The Out There Festival has established an international reputation for innovative and inclusive programming with world-class performance and a family-friendly atmosphere, building on Great Yarmouth's long entertainment heritage.

This year's festival will take place from Friday 16 - Sunday 18 September.

Joe Mackintosh, chief executive of SeaChange Arts, said: 'One of the reasons the Out There Festival was established was to extend the Great Yarmouth tourist season.

'It has delivered, attracting tens of thousands of visitors, many coming for weekend breaks. The arts, culture and entertainment can be a vital part of the tourism offer going forward and we're therefore very excited to be working in partnership with GYTABIA to continue the development of Out There.'

Darren Cross, SeaChange communications director, said the grant was a significant investment by the Arts Council and demonstrated its commitment to supporting the arts in Great Yarmouth.

'We have staged acts on the seafront before, including the headline Saturday night show, but this partnership will significantly increase the seafront programme throughout the festival weekend.'

Already confirmed for the seafront programme are Southpaw Dance's Carousel, an 'enthralling tale of the fairground after dark,' and Garden Party, by France's Compagnie No. Eight, which blends anarchic slapstick and comedy.

'We are hoping traders will engage with the festival and we will be involving restaurants and cafes, encouraging them to spill out into the street to be part of the festival. This is great opportunity for them to benefit too,' Mr Cross said.

For programme details of Out There Festival, visit www.outtherefestival.com

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