Two free festivals to bring top acts and 'extraordinary events' to Weston

Motionhouse WILD.picture credit Dan Tucker (1)

Motionhouse's show WILD. - Credit: Dan Tucker

Never mind the Summer of 69, the Summer of 21 has felt worthy of its own anthem as we’ve enjoyed uplifting moments with friends and family once again. And there’s more to come, with two free festivals rolling out this September in Weston.

Whirligig (September10-12) offers a colourful line-up of world class acts and plenty of opportunities to join in. Va va voom your vocal chords for some surreal Friday night karaoke with Puppets with Guts’ enormous illuminated LIPS. Or celebrate the most fabulous version of yourself at a GLAM workshop with international dance sensations Van Huynh and Etta Ermini.

Sit back and drink in some wow factor with the amazing Motionhouse and their new show WILD on Saturday afternoon, or enjoy an epic environmental encounter with Autin Dance Company’s towering sea puppet EKO…and much more. Full programme at

Autin Dance Sea Giant puppet Millie Doyle (1)

Autin Dance Sea Giant puppet is one of the attractions heading to Weston for the Whirligig Festival. - Credit: Millie Doyle

The following weekend we shift the tone to one of reflection, at Weston’s second Arts + Health Week (18 – 26 September) proudly presented in collaboration with the Arts & Culture Programme at UHBW. With over 40 events to experience, at the heart of this festival sits Luke Jerram’s artwork ‘In Memoriam’, a poignant installation on the beach that pays tribute to the NHS and to those lost through Covid. Walk amidst its flags and find a space for contemplation and, we hope, comfort.

‘In Memoriam’ houses a number of extraordinary events during the festival including a torch-lit procession, NHS Choir and the premiere of a new Studio Wayne McGregor collaboration with dancers from Weston College and where you can be part of a community dance chorus. And check out our varied programme of free creative tasters that include craft, art, yoga, drama and more.

To nourish curious minds, daily lunchtime panel sessions offer new perspectives on all sorts of things - hear from Angie Bual, whose Hatchling has recently soared across Plymouth Ho! Programme details at

We couldn’t make any of this happen without the incredible support of our team of volunteer culture makers - if you’d like to be involved, we’d love to meet you! Just drop me a line at

See you soon in Weston’s great outdoors!

by Fiona Matthews, Creative Director at Theatre Orchard & Culture Weston

Fiona Matthews head & shoulders Paul Blakemore (1)

Fiona Matthews, creative director at Theatre Orchard & Culture Weston. - Credit: Paul Blakemore

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