Pyre Parade and Luminarium among highlights as SPILL Festival returns to Ipswich

The Pyre Parade will be returning to Ipswich as part of the SPILL Festival

The Pyre Parade will be returning to Ipswich as part of the SPILL Festival - Credit: Gillian Allard

SPILL Festival of Performance is set to return to Ipswich in October, with a wide range of strange and striking events and exhibits.

The festival will run from Wednesday, October 27 to Sunday, October 31, featuring artworks and artists from around the world along with talks and performances.

The spectacular installation Gaia, a seven-metre-wide model of the Earth created using NASA photography, will float from the ceiling of Ipswich Town Hall.

The sculptures of Ray Lee's Chorus will be on the Cornhill in Ipswich during SPILL Festival 

The sculptures of Ray Lee's Chorus will be on the Cornhill in Ipswich during SPILL Festival - Credit: Roy Riley

On the Cornhill, the strange sculptures of Chorus will spin and hum, whirling like a swarm of fireflies or planets, while the Luminarium on the Waterfront will be a maze of colourful domes and tunnels.

There will be many events aimed at families and children, and a highlight will be the return of festival favourite The Pyre Parade, on October 30.


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Everyone will be welcome to join in with this event, posting their bad news from the last year into special boxes.

Turn up and join a procession from The Hold on the Waterfront to Christchurch Park, before the effigies are burnt to send the bad news up in smoke.

Albesila Luminarium is coming to Ipswich Waterfront as part of SPILL Festival

Albesila Luminarium is coming to Ipswich Waterfront as part of SPILL Festival - Credit: Alan Parkinson

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The Comeback Special, a film of post-punk band The The’s 2018 concert at the Royal Albert Hall, will be screened, with band frontman Matt Johnson and film director Tim Pope in live conversation.

And the overall theme of the festival, On Memory, sees artists and works from previous years invited back or reflected in the programme.

Moi Tran will present her community chorus Shy God, inspired by Vietnamese folklore, the remarkable photography of the SPILL Tarot 2011 will be exhibited in Ipswich Art Gallery, and Raimund, Farewell will celebrate late choreographer and filmmaker Raimund Hoghe.

The launch of the Ipswich Biscuit will take place during SPILL Festival

The launch of the Ipswich Biscuit will take place during SPILL Festival - Credit: Robert Pacitti

Work commissioned for the 2021 festival includes Gone, Gone, Beyond , an immersive 360-degree projection and sound piece by People Like Us (aka artist Vicki Bennett) at Dance East.

The historic churches of Ipswich will also host events. St Stephen's Church will play host to the festival launch on October 27, and you can step into a world of sound and performance from festival artists at St Clement's in Fore Street from October 29-30.

And there will even be the launch for an Ipswich Biscuit, after people from the town entered  a contest to find the tastiest recipe in 2019. 

For full details of the festival, visit the website or call the box office on 01473 210169.


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