Weekend of Parades celebrate Whirligig Festival

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.

This year’s award-winning Whirligig Festival, presented by Super Culture, brings a weekend full of extraordinary experiences to Weston-super-Mare. This includes a stunning programme of internationally-acclaimed outdoor arts alongside brilliant local talent, community activities and family fun and two guaranteed crowd-pleaser parades launching each day with spectacular showcases. 

On Saturday 9 September, a community-led Climate Carnival parade, complete with musicians, performers and stilt-walkers, will make its way from the Tropicana along the seafront, displaying a vibrant array of environmentally-themed carnival arts created throughout the summer by local groups. Arriving in full glory at the Italian Gardens, the Climate Carnival will herald the beginning of Whirligig. 

Weston-super-Mare Climate Carnival 2022. Image credit Paul Blakemore

On Sunday 10 September, Bristol-based Paraorchestra will bring a technicolour explosion of music and dance to Weston’s seafront with SMOOSH!  The parade will see Paraorchestra’s ensemble of professional disabled and non-disabled musicians joined by local players and a troupe of dancers. Together they will perform  irresistible pop-karaoke classics by artists such as Fatboy Slim, Kate Bush, Basement Jaxx and Adele with an array of brass, percussion and woodwind instruments on the move.
Featuring amongst the local artists are Weston & Worle Wind Band, young musicians from North Somerset Music Service, Weston College students and young people from South Ward.

Members of the public are invited to join in with both processions and cheer them on their way, as they joyfully parade along the promenade. Starting out from the seafront at 11am each day, the processions will make their way through the High Street, before arriving around midday at the Whirligig Festival site at the town centre’s Italian Gardens where the programme of events will begin. 

Paraorchestra. Image credit Rose Morelli

Other highlights throughout the Whirligig weekend include high flying thrills from Belgium’s Collectif Malunés; mesmerising acts from Without Walls supported acts, Alleyne Dance, Motionhouse and Simple Cypher; Super Wonder Shrine stage of shows for all the family; eye-catching walkabout acts on the High Street; ‘You Shrine’ pop-up photo installation celebrating the people of Weston and culminating in a kaleidoscopic finale show; Luke Jerram’s immersive and thought-provoking artwork ‘Crossings’ at Marine Lake and much more. 

Collectif Malunés. Photo credit Marie Monteiro

Whirligig Festival takes place from 11am to 6pm on Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 September. See the full festival line-up and programme timetable at 

https://superculture.org.uk/listings/whirligig23/ and follow @superculturewsm for the latest updates.

Whirligig Festival, supported by funding from Arts Council England, is a green event that reflects Super Culture’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.

Motionhouse. Photo credit Andy Grey