Adur Festival launch gives taste of what is to come

Sharon Penfold, Gary Baines and Andy Vincent from Friends of Shoreham Fort
Sharon Penfold, Gary Baines and Andy Vincent from Friends of Shoreham Fort

MINI performances gave a taster of this year’s Adur Festival at the official launch in Ropetackle Arts Centre.

Many of those involved gathered last Wednesday to explain would they would be doing during the two-week festival, running from May 24 to June 8.

It is the second year Ropetackle has run the festival and trust chairman Martin Allen said the district had ‘the buzz’ to make it possible.

Adur Council chairman Mike Mendoza spoke about the diversity of the area, linking to the festival’s 2014 theme of Strange Creatures.

He said: “The festival is a celebration of Adur’s community and identity, providing a platform for local artists and arts organisations.”

Also referring to the theme, Shoreham county councillor Debbie Kennard said: “I moved here from London 23 years ago and came to a place that is very special and is now my home. I want to keep this place a special place.

“People are beautiful here, we have got some lovely characters and let’s enjoy our diversity in Shoreham.”

Musical performances included The Scheme, a band from Shoreham Allstars, and duet Marie Dance and Leo Gibbs, who will be running a busking slot on May 24 from 2pm to 6pm.

Dan Belton, senior library assistant at Lancing Library, read some poems about strange creatures, to promote special library sessions for young and old.

Festival co-ordinator Mella Faye Punchard revealed 1,500 pupils across the district had been making sock puppets in artists workshops to encourage them to get involved.

Meanwhile, Zeezee Twenty Two has been working with older students, exploring graffiti. He will be organising a big graffiti wall in the Shoreham Centre and in Lancing shopping centre during the festival.

He explained that he took animal body parts into schools to help the students make stencils and create strange creatures on a canvas board.

Other art projects include the Recyclo exhibition at the Fishersgate Centre, from May 25 to June 9, featuring international and local artists on the theme of recycling.

Poems are being placed around town by Shoreham WordFest, Adur East Lions Club holds its donkey derby and classic car rally on Sunday, June 8, and Friends of Shoreham Fort have a Military History Weekend on June 7 and 8.

The Adur Art Trail starts part way through the festival, launching with a Build a River Beast event on May 30 and 31.

Kim Adele Fuller, chairman of adurArtcollective, said the trail, running until June 15, included 25 venues, 21 of them in Shoreham, two in Southwick and two in Lancing.

She added: “The launch will be two-day event on Coronation Green to build a river beast.

“The purpose is to build a beast that can go all the way across Adur Ferry Bridge. We wanted to celebrate the bridge, which is fantastic, and celebrate ten years of the art trail.

“It is designed to be interactive for adults and children. People can make a segment of the beast then join it to the footbridge.”