GLOW lights up Grove Park in Weston

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Grove Park in Weston-super-Mare will be transformed into a world of wondrous light installations this February, as new, sustainably-produced event ‘GLOW’ brings a three-day festival of illumination to the town.

GLOW is conceived and designed by Weston-based artist and producer Paula Birtwistle and presented by Culture Weston in partnership with Weston-super-Mare Town Council. The event will run from Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 February, 6pm to 9pm each evening and promises a magical, sensory experience celebrating light and the natural landscape.

The free spectacle, supported by funding from Arts Council England National Lottery Projects Grants and Weston Town Council, will feature a trail of light installations, interactive activities and stunning sights and sounds for all the family. 

Tickets to the event need to be booked in advance, with under 14s accompanied by an adult and will be at allocated time slots to ensure a steady flow of people enjoying the trail in a safe way. 

To book tickets, visit cultureweston.org.uk, https://cultureweston.org.uk/listings/glow-in-the-park/

GLOW will showcase internationally-acclaimed acts alongside community-partnership initiatives. 

Arcadia, creators of the famous 50-tonne ‘Spider’, are bringing their Flaming Lampposts installation, a series of Victorian style lampposts entwined with recycled vehicle exhausts to give a treelike appearance, that emit jets of fire.

Thingumajig Theatre’s Ghost Caribou giant illuminated puppet is a part caribou, part spirit that roams the mystical world after dark in an atmospheric, other-worldly performance piece.

Other spectacles include a Tree of Life lit up by people’s pedal power, a Swing Tree, Disco Ball Bandstand, Laser Sky, the UK’s largest bug hotel with willow insects installation, community lantern trail, poetry soundscape projections, recorded choral music and more. There will also be unexpected theatrical encounters including pop-up performances inspired by Dr Seuss’ The Lorax, by Weston’s ‘From the Mud’ theatre company.

Members of the local community have been involved in creating features for GLOW, including Friends of Grove Park phosphorescent painted bug trail, Pride rainbow lighting, lantern making workshops with Boombox Youth Project, weaving willow insects with local artist Helen Wheelock, soundscapes featuring poetry from Chapter One creative writing group and recorded choral music from Costanzi Consort chamber choir. 

A Culture Weston bar will be serving up a range of locally sourced beverages, snacks  and hot, mulled cider. Loves Cafe in Weston will be providing a hot chocolate stall with homemade vegan cakes.

Producer of GLOW Paula Birtwistle, said: “We can’t wait to bring some extra special magic to Grove Park. It is fantastic to be able to put on such an uplifting and free event, which is a first for the town. GLOW is a sustainably produced event, designed to enhance the beautiful natural landscape of this much loved community asset and provide people with a memorable and playful experience.

“We want to thank all the funding partners, Friends Of Grove Park and members of the community who have made this possible and look forward to welcoming people in Weston and beyond to the world of GLOW!”  

Town Clerk Malcolm Nicholson, said: “The Town Council is delighted to support the GLOW event with Culture Weston, bringing joy to the community and lighting up February. This free event will provide magical fun for all the family.”

Further ‘taster’ spectacles and activities are being planned in the Italian Gardens, supported by North Somerset Council and funded by the Welcome Back Fund, financed by the European Regional Development Fund.  

These will take place in the days leading up to the event, with additional, surprise illuminated artworks being brought to Grove Park for GLOW.  Follow Culture Weston on social media for the latest announcements and updates.