SO Festival in Skegness celebrates coast’s ‘diversity’

'Carnage in the Kitchen' by Tout En Vrac, which ended in flames, sparklers and fireworks. ANL-190209-085337001
'Carnage in the Kitchen' by Tout En Vrac, which ended in flames, sparklers and fireworks. ANL-190209-085337001

TV ‘Bake Off’ fans saw how it shouldn’t be done at home when SO Festival crowds were enteretained with some ‘Carnage in the Kitchen’.

The act by Tout En Vrac featuring a housewife failing to bake the perfect pie with spectacular consequences ended in flames, sparklers and fireworks - and was one of a number of performances taking place Skegnesas over the weekend.

Super Super featuring  French duo using a paddling pool to perform a swimming routine. ANL-190209-085415001

Super Super featuring French duo using a paddling pool to perform a swimming routine. ANL-190209-085415001

This year’s annual arts festival started in Mablethorpe on Friday, moving to Tower Gardens in Skegness for Saturday and Sunday.

Other professional acts ranged from a surprising performance of Super Super - with a French duo using a paddling pool to perform a swimming routine - to a family-friendly puppet show telling the story of King Lear.

Community groups also joined the top European and UK artists to entertain the crowds, including Linkage, the Lincolnshire Community Trust that supports people with learning difficulties.

Adults from the organisation’s Toynton centre entertained with a mix of performances from popular West End shows, and dance.

So Festival performers mingled with the crowds around Skegness. ANL-190209-085439001

So Festival performers mingled with the crowds around Skegness. ANL-190209-085439001

There were also popular performances in Compass Gardens, Skegness, with roaming artists creating laughter and surprise on nearby streets.

Saturday appeared to be the busiest day for crowds and the acts didn’t disappoint those who attended, with some even booking their holidays so as not to miss out on the fun.

“It has been wonderful, we plan our holidays to ensure we visit for SO Festival, a fantastic event,” said Jenette Nelson from Chesterfield.

Acclaimed Danish artistic director Jens Frimann Hansen and his team from Helsingør Teater were once again responsible for bringing the eclectic mix of entertainment – unique in its variety and performance.

SO Festival at Skegness. L-R Elsie Wilkinson 5, Evie Wilkinson 7, Laila-Rae Smalley 5, Jenson Wilkinson 8 of Skegness. ANL-190209-084239001

SO Festival at Skegness. L-R Elsie Wilkinson 5, Evie Wilkinson 7, Laila-Rae Smalley 5, Jenson Wilkinson 8 of Skegness. ANL-190209-084239001

“Our hope this year was to bring a greater intimacy with the communities in both towns, while showing a different perspective to what these resorts have to offer,” explained Jens.

“There can be a prejudice among people of what happens in places like Skegness and Mablethorpe and it is important to realise how people come here for many different reasons, for the quality of the beaches, to spend time together and to enjoy the nature.

“There is such diversity and the festival adds to that, presenting a different offer and not a competitive one. We aim to do something exceptional,” added Jens, who during the festival engaged European philosopher Guillaume Paoli to lead a workshop to gauge opinions and reflections of the resorts.

Organised by the cultural arm of the Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture, East Lindsey’s premier providers of leisure, fitness and entertainment venues, SO 2019 was supported by Arts Council England and East Lindsey District Council with support for the UK acts from Without Walls, an organisation dedicated to raising the profile of the outdoor arts sector.

SO Festival at Skegness. Helen Eastman Productions' Bicycle Boy performance. ANL-190209-084221001

SO Festival at Skegness. Helen Eastman Productions' Bicycle Boy performance. ANL-190209-084221001

For SO Festival worker, Gemma Parkin, 17, from Louth, the event has steered her future career. When she became involved in helping with SO, four years ago, she enjoyed the experience so much she is now on the second year of an Events Management degree course.

Back this year as an Ambassador, she said: “SO really has helped me decide what I want to do. I love the variety, the new skills that I have learned and the people – so much so that I have now decided this kind of career is for me.”

SO Festival at Skegness. Lewis Paillin 12 ANL-190209-084323001

SO Festival at Skegness. Lewis Paillin 12 ANL-190209-084323001

SO Festival at Skegness. Ian Johnstone performing. ANL-190209-084418001

SO Festival at Skegness. Ian Johnstone performing. ANL-190209-084418001

SO Festival at Skegness. Passepartout Theatre Productions' King Lear performance. ANL-190209-084555001

SO Festival at Skegness. Passepartout Theatre Productions' King Lear performance. ANL-190209-084555001

Skegness SO Festival. Neil Hutson of Earthbound Misfits with Jasper Atkinson 7 of Lincoln. ANL-190209-084907001

Skegness SO Festival. Neil Hutson of Earthbound Misfits with Jasper Atkinson 7 of Lincoln. ANL-190209-084907001

Skegness SO Festival. Esther Hartley 8 of Skegness ANL-190209-084832001

Skegness SO Festival. Esther Hartley 8 of Skegness ANL-190209-084832001

Skegness SO Festival. Laura Stenhouse of Earthbound Misfits. ANL-190209-084757001

Skegness SO Festival. Laura Stenhouse of Earthbound Misfits. ANL-190209-084757001