Out There festival wants your zany arts ideas

Stephen PullingerWork has begun on drawing up a dynamic programme for the second year of Yarmouth's colourful arts festival Out There.Stephen Pullinger

Work has begun on drawing up a dynamic programme for the second year of Yarmouth's colourful arts festival Out There.

And organiser Joe Mackintosh, chief executive of the SeaChange Arts charity, is already appealing for people to come forward with their own zany "Out There" ideas for community events.

Last year's four-day festival, which built to a crescendo over the weekend of November 1 and 2, drew thousands of visitors. However, the event, based in a tented village in the Market Place, was hampered by poor weather and a much-heralded tightrope walk by Frenchman Didier Pasquette, one of the world's leading aerial acts, had to be cancelled.

Mr Mackintosh said: "This year we are bringing the festival forward to the weekend of September 19 and 20 in the hope of finding better weather and catching end-of-season holidaymakers." He said they would be looking to capitalise on Yarmouth's outdoor spaces and bring together the seafront and town centre by organising events along Regent Road and in St George's Park.

He said: "We are certainly hoping to bring back Didier Pasquette and we have been talking to him about doing two shows. We are also looking to add some weird and wacky participation stuff. Ideas we have been looking at include an extreme golf competition, playing up and down Regent Road with soft balls, and staging wacky races in St George's Park..."

On the Saturday, they planned to hold a big carnival-style parade.

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Mr Mackintosh said: "Last year's horse life drawing in the Market Place, led by Bradwell butcher and artist Andrew Edmunds, was very successful and we will repeat that. We are looking at whether it would be feasible to bring in an elephant."

A successful element of last year's festival had been the participation of Yarmouth's migrant community and they would be seeking to make better use of the town's Portuguese caf�s, for instance, for evening cabaret.

Mr Mackintosh will learn in June if his bid for e590,000 of EU funding has been successful - that would secure the festival's future up to 2011 and allow him to bring street artists to Yarmouth throughout the summer.

Anyone with ideas for events is invited to call SeaChange on 01493 846550 or email joe@seachangearts.org.uk