SO fantastic festival delights the crowds

All of Nothing performing at SO Festival. Photo: Ashley Bird
All of Nothing performing at SO Festival. Photo: Ashley Bird
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Traditional seaside entertainment and sunshine greeted thousands of SO Festival visitors as the family-friendly event came to East Lincolnshire.

Audiences of over 85,000 flocked to see some of the UK’s very best circus entertainment, music, theatre and visual arts.

SO Festival’s programme ran over 11 days visiting Horncastle, Louth, Alford, Mablethorpe, Woodhall Spa and Spilsby before finishing in Skegness for a three-day spectacular.

Esther Noon, who enjoyed the event with her family, was delighted with SO Festival believing it was a fantastic day out for them all.

She said: “This was the first time that we have come to SO Festival and it has been brilliant.

“We especially enjoyed the Circus Heroes show – we were laughing the whole way through. My sister was meant to go back to Nottingham but she stayed even longer just to see the end of the show.”

Let’s Circus performed every day during the festival bringing their show, Circus Heroes to each of the seven towns and Skegness. Steve Cousins, the ringmaster and director of Let’s Circus was delighted to be a part of such a fantastic event.

He said: “The festival has been great. Every day and every town has been completely different – we have really enjoyed ourselves.

“Everyone has been very welcoming, with both adults and children really engaging with the show. I performed at the festival last year and would happily perform again next year if the audience wants us back.”

Among the artists performing during the festival were Candoco Dance Company who showcased their piece, Two for C to audiences in Skegness over the weekend. Adam Gain, the company dancer enjoyed bringing their show to the event.

He said: “The audiences have been great and very welcoming; we have had a brilliant time performing to them.

“The location was an added bonus as well. Even people who were just visiting the beach would hear the music and were drawn to the festival. For us it was a way to expose the arts and dance to holiday makers and locals who wouldn’t normally expect it.”

The arts spectacular finished on a high with a performance by All or Nothing. The aerial dance theatre group wowed the crowds by abseiling down the side of the Embassy Theatre performing their 1930s inspired show, ‘What a Picture!’ Performance artist Danuta Ramos danced and twirled mid-air above the Embassy Theatre from a crane as part of the breath-taking finale.

Roanna Davidson, actress aerialist for All or Nothing said: “We will definitely come back next year if we are invited and have really enjoyed performing at such a traditional seaside resort.

“We hope the performance gave the audience something they have never seen before as we celebrated Skegness by the sea and 1930s holidays.”

Festival director Lorna Fulton added: “The 11 days of SO Festival have been fantastic. This year, we wanted to go bigger and better than before. Therefore, we had even more performers, variety and extended the event to reach more people across East Lindsey.

“As a result, we had more people attending the event than ever before and I now cannot wait for next years’ festival as we continue to make the event even better.

“Thanks to everyone who helped make the event a success including the artists, young ambassadors and the organisations including East Lindsey District Council and Arts Council England who helped to fund the free event.”

Steve Kirk, portfolio holder for coastal economy at East Lindsey District Council said “SO Festival has once again been a huge success across East Lindsey and our thanks go to the delivery team at Magna Vitae.

“Thousands of people enjoyed first-class performances, giving a real boost to the economy in the area. The council is pleased to have once again been a funding partner in the festival, which continues to go from strength to strength.”

For more information on SO Festival visit its new website at www.sofestival.org, follow @SOFestival on Twitter, SO_Festival on Instagram or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SOfestival.

SO Festival is delivered by Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture in partnership with East Lindsey District Council and Arts Council England.

The festival was awarded National Portfolio Funding from Arts Council England in 2014 with the aim to promote and present the best festival arts and entertainment bringing new audiences and creating new opportunities and experiences.