Hartlepool's Wintertide Festival will keep the lights on despite pandemic
A community arts festival will ‘keep the lights on’ when it returns this year after some major alterations due to coronavirus.
For five years Hartlepool’s Wintertide Festival has celebrated local arts and culture with illuminated buildings, live music and crafts on the Headland.
Despite the pandemic it is still going ahead this year but with some changes to keep people safe under the banner Keeping The Lights On.
Instead of the usual live events it will feature a mixture of colourful illuminations, online content and a self-led arts trail around the Headland between Friday, November 20 and Sunday, November 29.
A number of established and up and coming local bands will perform over the internet.
And 600 children from across the town have created puppets for an open Monkey Mayhem remote parade featuring a piece of animation played on a digital van at two schools and will pop up across the town.
Wintertide Chair Natalie Howe said: "We are still as excited as ever leading up to the festival and hope you and your families can all enjoy it.”
A scenic walk around the Headland has been created in the arts trail featuring a mix of physical works of art and artwork, film, music and dance on people’s phones by scanning QR codes.
Local artists, colleges and Hartlepool Borough Council youth projects have produced work for the trail.
Street ambassadors have also been working with selected streets to showcase pieces of art.
Festival organisers said: “The art trail is a way to bring some of the art to you and show how we are still united, resilient and can adapt to succeed.”
Artistic Solutions will light up St Hilda’s church for the festival and hopefully some other Headland buildings.
A series of musicians will perform on live streams on the festival’s website www.wintertidefestuk.com kicking off with Hartlepool duo Pek & Wanley on Friday, November 20, from 8pm.
Rachel Laycock and Emma Wheetman, co-directors at BloomInArt, who form part of the festival steering group, added: "We are pleased that we have been able to still connect with schools, colleges, businesses and artists to give some positive focus, community solidarity and we can still celebrate together.
"This year will be extremely different, but it has given us the chance to try new ways of working.”