2018 Outdoor Arts Highlights back to listing

Our Executive Director, Angus MacKechnie, reflects on some of his most memorable Outdoor Arts moments of the past year…

As I was clearing out my folder of leaflets and brochures of 2018 events and shows, ready for the new year to begin, I thought I’d reflect on some of my Outdoor Arts highlights from the past year. List writing is always risky, but here’s a personal round-up of a handful of my memorable moments from a busy year.

If there’s a theme, it’s community and participation (and protest), but they mostly stick in my mind as being excellent life-affirming examples of the Outdoor Arts sector.

BEAUTIFUL BONES: Surge and Love Music Productions

Surge Festival and Merchant City Festival, Glasgow
The streets were alive with the sound of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, a funeral and copious skeletal trombonists causing havoc and amazement

BEAUTIFUL THING: Robby Graham and Greenwich & Docklands International Festival

Thamesmead Estate, London / produced by GDIF
Uniquely site-specific outdoor interpretation of the iconic play about love and innocence and drag queens on a concrete estate complete with double decker bus

BIVOUAC250: Générik Vapeur

Out There Festival, Great Yarmouth / produced by Seachange Arts with Gorilla Circus
Properly anarchic, loud as f**k, a rocking and raging blue-faced takeover of the seaside streets of Great Yarmouth literally brought the town to a halt

CASCADE: Gandini Juggling and Circa Tsuica

Circus Sampler, Somerset House, London / produced by Crying out Loud
Joyous, uplifting and utterly soggy mass-participatory juggling performance in the elegant fountains of Somerset House with a stonking brass band

EAST WALL: East London Dance and Hofesh Shechter Company

The Moat of the Tower of London / produced by LIFT
An extraordinary setting for a superbly realised performance with an enormous diverse cast alongside a military marching band

FULL CIRCLE: Avanti Display

Festival Spoffin, Netherlands
A particular pleasure to see the UK represented by two people and a hundred buckets making a riotous racket in a charming Netherlands town square


Outside Sir Christoper Chope’s Constituency Office, Dorset
Lorna’s pants went viral in her perfect protest against the blocking of the anti-upskirting bill

PIG: Kaleider

Freedom Festival, Hull / an In Situ project
The police were called in, which only added to the piece’s astute questions about our complex relationship with money and social responsibility

RUSH: Southpaw Dance Company

LightPool at Blackpool Illuminations / commissioned by LeftCoast and co-produced with Event International
Powerfully confrontational dance celebration of community cohesion and society with an exuberant powder fuelled finale

UNDAUNTED: The Bullzini Family

Royal Naval College Green / commissioned by GDIF
One woman’s simple walk along a tightrope spoke volumes about the eternal fight for equality