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Bringing People Together: Streets Apart Festival Programme Announced

In case you didn’t already know a colourful and kaleidoscopic array of events has been announced as plans for a free Wigan street festival this summer.

A packed programme has been revealed for a Streets Apart Festival; a two-day event that will bring established artists from across Wigan and Greater Manchester to party with residents in the town centre.

The programme, led by The Old Courts in partnership with Wigan Council and six other borough-based organisations, will bring top-class entertainment, DJs, and catwalks, alongside street art, face painting, community performances and more on Saturday, July 8 and Sunday, July 9.

Farrah, a large scale puppet of a fox riding a scooter infront of a tree.

The festival will begin with a huge parade through Wigan town centre on Saturday, July 8, bringing colour and carnival to the streets. It will feature two giant puppets: Farrah the Fox, a 5-metre-tall mechanical puppet who will be rolling into Wigan on her scooter; and Frankie, a puppet designed by local young people and arts organisation Everyday. Everyday (formerly Wigan STEAM) led making sessions with over 50 young people to design Frankie, a character who represents ‘a person like you and me’. Farrah the Fox is a visitor to Wigan and will be wheeling up and down the country this summer, visiting six towns and cities.

Saturday 8th July

Beginning at Mesnes Park at 1pm, the parade will head towards King Street through Standishgate; with dance, music and surprises along the way. Expect to see local dancers from WigLe Dance, Bom-Ta-Bom percussion band and local young people with specially decorated scooters, wheelchairs, and skateboards. Spectators should head to Standishgate for the best spot to see the parade, where people can also enjoy stalls and activities as part of Wigan Rotary Club’s Community Day. The parade will end on King Street at 2pm for a spectacular finale, including an invitation to join in a huge participatory dance routine. Keep an eye on social media channels for sneak peaks and opportunities to practice your moves in the lead-up. The parade is part of Hi! Street Fest, a national project led by Emergency Exit Arts and Historic England in partnership with six towns across the country, who are all welcoming Farrah the Fox to their place.

Natasha, a black woman wearing a yellow velvet leotard and several yellow, green and red hula hoops around her waist. She is wearing green eyeshadow, red lipstick and gold hoop earrings. Her hands are raised.

The celebrations will continue throughout the day on King Street, which will have been transformed with flags, decorations, and an outdoor stage. There will be a fierce and fabulous street party curated by Darren Pritchard (Ghetto Fabulous, Black Gold Arts, Black Pride Manchester). Darren has 20 years of experience in the fashion, theatre, television and performing arts industries, and is renowned for his inclusive club nights and celebratory community events. The afternoon will see a family-friendly programme packed with performance, activity and music.

Highlights include hula hoop artist Natasha Moonshine, fierce female dance artists Ghetto Fem, hand balancing act Only Wonderland, amazing dancers George and Cal and much more. There will also be a special edition of the Family Catwalk Extravaganza – an epic lip sync battle bringing the Glitz and Glamour to King Street. As we head into the evening, family activities will make way for music and dance, as King Street turns into its very own outdoor club with an artistic twist. Fierce dancers will perform alongside DJ sets from DJ Single Lady, SCAPA, Black Betty, DJ Jade Jaxson and more to be announced. Food and drink will be available to purchase from King Street businesses to consume on the street.

A close up image of Darren, a black male dancer looking directly at the camera. He has a shaved head and brown eyes, he is posing with his left hand over the top of his head and his right making an L shape under his chin.

Darren said: “I’m so excited to be working on Streets Apart Festival! King Street was once the theatrical heartland of Wigan and is now the clubland centre of the town. I’m drawing on its two worlds to create an outside festival that brings its history and future together. A safe space for everyone to enjoy”.

Sunday 9th July

Sunday’s programme will be a relaxed affair, with live performances, artisan markets, food stalls and interactive art activities for people of all ages to enjoy. A programme celebrating local talent will include performances from Wigan Little Theatre, Everything Human Rights, The Music Projects, Louise Fazackerley, Corrie Shelley and Julie McKiernan, and more. Performers interested in having a short stage slot as part of the Sunday programme can find opportunities by visiting the Streets Apart Festival website here. Guided history tours will also run on King Street throughout the day, led by members of Wigan Local History and Heritage Society.

Louise, a white woman with brunette hair is stood infant of a microphone with her hands making glasses by her finger tip touching the tip of her thumb on each hand. She is wearing a multicoloured pattern t-shirt, silver necklace and hoop earrings

On the Sunday, The Old Courts’ resident, award-winning theatre company, ThickSkin, will premiere a special Wigan edition of their location-based audio series Walk This Play®.Working with local young people, ThickSkin will create a unique audio experience, designed for listeners as they walk, which celebrates Wigan’s past, present and future.

You can check out the full lineup by clicking here

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