High flying ‘Whirligig’ Festival returns to Weston-super-Mare

Whirligig Festival of Outdoor Arts, Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 September 2023 

The Italian Gardens, 8 – 10 South Parade, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1JN 

With additional activities on the High Street, seafront and at Marine Lake.

High flying thrills from Belgium’s Collectif Malunés, a riot of music with Paraorchestra’s SMOOSH! and mesmerising crowd-pleasers from Without Walls supported acts, Alleyne Dance, Motionhouse and Simple Cypher are just some of the extraordinary experiences packed into this year’s award-winning Whirligig Festival. 

Kicking off the free, two-day event is Weston’s very own Climate Carnival featuring a vibrant, environmentally-themed community parade, plus ‘You Shrine’ pop-up photo installation celebrating the people of Weston with a kaleidoscopic nod to the Beatles visit to the town 60 years ago. On the Marine Lake you can take to a rowing boat and lap up the amazing stories within artist Luke Jerram’s immersive and thought provoking artwork ‘Crossings’.  

Family fun is guaranteed with the ever popular and timeless Dizzy O’Dare balloon show; old school slapstick from Avanti Display’s ‘The Spurting Man’; Spitz & Co’s inimitable comedy in ‘Elvis in Blue Hawaii’; Variety Spectacular Show from street theatre legends Jones & Barnard; Circomedia workshops and the irresistible  ‘Hippochondriac’ spectacle from Thingumajig Theatre.

Whirligig Festival takes place from 11am to 6pm on Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 September. See the full programme line-up at https://superculture.org.uk/listings/whirligig23/ and follow @cultureweston for the latest updates.

Fiona Matthews, creative director at Culture Weston, said: “Whirligig is much loved for the continental vibe that it brings to the Italian Gardens and this year’s programme of international, national and local acts is no exception.

“Mix up high octane performances, serious fun factor and artists who want to say something about society, and you’ve got an exhilarating weekend in store. 

“This year we also radiate outwards to include Marine Lake with Luke Jerram’s sublime ‘Crossings’ installation. ‘Crossings’, like Collectif Malunés’ ‘We Agree to Disagree’, Megan Clark-Bagnall’s ‘You Shrine’ and Paraorchestra’s ‘SMOOSH!’ only fully come to life when the public get involved….so get ready to dive into this year’s festival with us!”

Organisers are calling for local people to join the valued team of Culture Makers and  help out as volunteers at the event by signing up at https://superculture.org.uk/volunteer/

Whirligig Festival, supported by funding from Arts Council England, is a green event that reflects Culture Weston’s environmental ethos to produce work and create experiences that are as sustainable as possible, supporting and enhancing local communities. Local food and drink will also be on sale.