The summer weather has been conspiring to destroy open air events but the town’s biggest arts participation exercise is going to happen at Lydiard Park on Saturday, even though there won’t be any public parking because of the waterlogged ground.
Organisers are asking visitors to walk, cycle or use Thamesdown Transport to get to West Swindon. Roads and streets around the park, including residential areas, have already been designated as no parking zones on the day and will be patrolled. For travel and general advice about the event click here download the Travel Choices pdf or click on the advert on the right.
Thamesdown Transport is running extra buses to Lydiard Park on Saturday. Service 1/1A will run as usual from Fleming Way (stop G) to Hay Lane every 10 minutes until 5.30pm, then every 15 minutes up to 8pm and then every 45 minutes afterwards.
There will also be a special service 1X using double deck buses which will run direct between Fleming Way (stop G) and Hay Lane every 10 minutes between 12 noon and 3pm, and between 4.40pm & 7.40pm, with extra buses back to town at the end of the day’s events, between 9.30pm and 11.30pm.
The nearest bus stop in Hay Lane for the festival is at Wilmot Close, just a few minutes walk from Lydiard Park.
A Dayrider ticket can be bought on any Thamesdown bus in Swindon for travel to the Big Arts Day. The prices are £3.50 adult, £2.40 child and £5 for a group of up to 2 adults and 3 children.
More information about bus services to the Big Arts Day, visit www.thamesdownbus.com
Big Arts Day 3 is set to be bigger and better than ever. Highlights include:
• Six music stages full of local talent with everything from jazz, punk, ska, rock, samba, indie, rockabilly and more. Headlining the main stage is Big Weekend Records featuring AJ and friends with lots of other great musical acts and local favourites, as well as Josh Kumra, right, known for his No 1 hit Don’t Go;
• Create Mobile digital media activities – and the launch of their brand new app, which could win under 25s an iPad;
• Drama and dance showcase stages;
• Chill-out zone, with an arts and crafts marquee, the acoustic/alternative music stage and a specially commissioned Jubilee exhibition tent;
• Craft stalls; workshops; films; literature zone; street entertainers and a brand new children’s zone.
Watch out for Tiny the dinosaur, a life-like stegosaurus, or have a 1930s-style seaside snapshot taken with three puppets who have jumped out of their sepia photograph.
There will also be a dry-land synchronized swimming display, superb mime and robotics, grannies on supercharged shopping trolleys, giant lobsters and interactive multi-sensory lurv machines.
Swindon’s Soul Man builds a machine to gather Wiltshire’s wind to take to the Olympic sailing venue in Weymouth
After two spectacular Big Arts Days at Lydiard Park organisers were looking for a unique event for the 2012 festival finale.
Big Arts Day director Helen Miah said she discovered in the Autumn that Wiltshire was the only county not involved in an Olympic themed show for the South West. “When I approached Cirque Bijou in Bristol they said they were working on a massive regional arts project to launch the Olympic sailing events in Weymouth – and Wiltshire was not yet involved. The challenge was there and Swindon took it.
“The idea is tell a story loosely based on the Greek myth of Aeolis, the God of the Winds, where each county creates a machine to ‘capture’ and carry their wind to Weymouth, to battle it out in a performance to see who has the best sailing winds.”
Left, a preview of the finale show in the town centre on 23 May when the Olympic flame came to Swindon
Artist and former Swindon railway worker Gordon Dickinson was approached to invent the machine whilst UK slack line champion Jake the Juggler took the role of Wiltshire wind collector Eurus who, with dancers and circus performers from Swindon will present the county’s performance in Weymouth.
Compared to the sleak, over-engineered contributions from other counties which have involved university departments in design and production, to say the least, Gordon’s creation has character.
Think Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and a wild-eyed artist who might have appeared in Back to the Future, he drew on his apprenticeship to create beautifully crafted metal ‘clouds’ representing the steam and smoke of the railways.
For power Gordon has used an old bike supplied by the Salvation Army Recycles project, whilst pushers using their legs will sit on two old tractor seats facing backwards.
During the day at Lydiard Park festival goers will be able to discover the music that can be created using organ pipes, bellows, and a home made xylophone mounted on the machine created on an old caravan chassis.
In the evening finale Jake will put on a high wire act whilst the machine with a DJ on top, steam whooshing from its engine, surrounded by dancers, will capture the Soul of Swindon.
Pictured above, Gordon in his workshop with Swindon’s wind collecting machine. Below, the wind gathering machine ready for its Big Arts Day outing.
See the full programme for Big Arts Day
The finale is sponsored by Swindon Travel Choices – see below
Getting to Lydiard Park, download the pdf by clicking here