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Skegness SO Festival

Skegness SO Festival 2017

SO Festival dates 27 June – 2 July 2017, locations along with the relevant dates are listed below.

Thrills, spills and skills coming to East Lincolnshire’s coast as SO Festival announces full programme.

SKegness SO Festival 2017

SO Festival, East Lincolnshire’s leading arts and culture festival, has announced its full programme for 2017. From 27 June to 2 July people across the region can enjoy six days of thrills, spills and skills from first class performers from home and abroad - and it’s all free. The travelling festival visits Spilsby (27th), Horncastle (28th), Alford (29th) and Mablethorpe (30th) before culminating in a spectacular 2-day finalé weekend in Skegness on 1 and 2 July.

Once again festival organisers have scoured the globe to find amazing and enthralling acts to entertain all the family – and lots of it includes local people. Southpaw Dance have been working with groups from across East Lincolnshire to create a new show especially for SO Festival. Some of the UK’s best break-dancers combine the vocabulary of breaking & contemporary dance seamlessly alongside a range of dance styles to create powerful, joyous performances.

Meet Betty Brawn; The Strong Lady who can perform feats of amazing strength and carry the weight of two gigantic men, and the Urban Astronaut who has travelled back from the future to find out why the earth was destroyed. As he walks around as if without gravity, spinning, turning and flying, can a girl in the crowd convince him that the human race can make the changes needed to save our planet?

Cake Fest by Simon Preston will see a giant edible map of East Lindsey on display in Skegness. Local people and community groups will be recreating their favourite landmark, building or place out of cake and putting them on the map to create a true visual feast. Save room for dessert though as we’ll need help eating the entire lot!

The Lincolnshire coast is a traditional seaside holiday destination for families from the Midlands. Black Country Touring, in collaboration with SO Festival premier their new show Life’s a Beach, inspired by stories captured from holidaymakers and daytrippers from the Black Country and residents of Skegness. Each story will be presented in different short performances in three specially converted caravans to transport audiences to the wonderful and eccentric world of our British seaside towns.

One of SO Festival highlights for 2017 is a spectacular high-energy Saturday evening performance in which sparks will fly. France’s Les Commandos Percu (France) and Deabru Beltak (Spain) have travelled the world with their amazing drum and fireworks shows. Danbor Talka (Clash of Drums) is an explosive promenade performance combining their talents and know-how with a clear objective - to reclaim the streets. They performed at the 2012 Olympics, now you can see them right here in Skegness.

Lorna Fulton, SO Festival Director said, ‘SO Festival is a brilliant event for the whole family; it’s free, accessible and all the acts are innovative, interesting and entertaining – there really is something for everyone. There’s a fantastic family feel about the festival and lots of opportunities for local people to get involved. I will look forward to seeing you all in 2017.’

SO Festival is working hard to support the growth and sustainability of local arts and cultural experiences across the district and looking forward to bringing you a diverse offering in 2017. This year SO Festival is also proudly supporting cultural fridge events in Skegness, Louth and Woodhall Spa.

For a full programme on SO Festival download the PDF at www.sofestival.org/programme.

Information on further acts appearing at SO Festival, including times, locations and SO much more, is also available on the website.

SO Festival aims to be inclusive & accessible festival for all.  We have A4 and brail programme copies available on request; and have improved the accessibility on our website, please visit www.sofestival.org/access for more information.

SO Festival 2017

27 June: Spilsby 6pm – 7.45pm

28 June: Horncastle 6pm – 7.45pm

29 June: Alford 6pm – 7.45pm

30 June: Mablethorpe 6pm – 8.45pm

1 July: Skegness 1pm – 11pm

2 July: Skegness 12pm – 6pm



For more exciting information visit www.sofestival.org or follow SO Festival on social media to stay up to date with the most recent news.  Should you require printed copies of the programme please email your request to David Stephenson - SO Festival Marketing & Communications lead, david.stephenson@mvtlc.org.

About SO Festival

In 2014, SO Festival was awarded NPO (National Portfolio Funding) for three years from Arts Council England. Programmed for a family audience SO Festival aims to be the most exciting, innovative and accessible outdoor arts festival in the UK. SO Festival promotes and presents the best festival arts and entertainment, bringing new audiences and creating new opportunities and experiences for the people of East Lincolnshire and beyond.  By engaging those not engaged in the arts, SO Festival ignites their interest and enjoyment of the arts by providing opportunities to learn new skills, experience new things and challenge themselves through exciting and unforgettable arts projects.  This is done by remove the barriers of age, health, social or geographical isolation.  SO Festival also contributes significantly to the local economy and supports the development of local artists and the creative industries and is delivered by Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture.  Arts Council England, East Lindsey District Council, Without Walls, Garsington Opera for All and Coasters are all partners of SO Festival 2017.

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk.

SO Festival is a member of the Without Walls Associate Touring Network.  The Without Walls Associate Touring Network is a group of festivals working together to extend the reach and benefits of the existing Without Walls programme in areas where there is low engagement with the arts, bringing high-quality outdoor work to diverse audiences across England.  Supported by Arts Council England through the Strategic Touring Fund, it is a project that aims to strengthen the outdoor sector and enable audiences across England to enjoy the highest quality new work produced by British artists. For more information on the work of the Without Walls Associate Touring Network, please visit: www.withoutwalls.uk.com/atn.

SO Festival is a member of The Coasters Network.  Supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund, Coasters is a three year project that brings world-class circus and street arts work to coastal towns across England. SeaChange Arts lead a consortium of 12 organisations with the shared ambition of building relationships with audiences in areas of lower engagement and helping transform perceptions of coastal towns. http://seachangearts.org.uk/about/.

Previous Years Festival Highlights:

Bad Taste Cru
In ‘Tribal Assembly’ (Comitia Tributa), Newcastle-based champion b-boy (breakdance) crew, Bad Taste Cru, fuse physical theatre, dynamic b-boy moves and body contact work to tell the story of four very different characters and their part in society.

Big Bang
The French master giant puppeteers return with their new BIG SHOW which tells the story of the Universe and its passage through time from the very beginning with the BIG BANG.


Time as the theme of the show materialized by the minute hand of a clock, accelerating or slowing down during the scenes over 14 billions years.

Unidentified Flying Objects roam without rhyme or reason and then they are going slowly in the centre. A human totem rises : at the top : a head : the Eye ! A clock starts up backwards.


The French master giant puppeteers return with their new BIG SHOW which tells the story of the Universe and its passage through time from the very beginning with the BIG BANG.

Time as the theme of the show materialized by the minute hand of a clock, accelerating or slowing down during the scenes over 14 billions years.

Joyous Jamboree
Two become four as Val and Babs are joined by “Wendy Willing” and “Mable Able”.


Performed by Swank, Joyous Jamboree is a fully interactive Camp installation – complete with bivouacs, flagpoles and of course, the camp fire for good old sing songs. Join the pack in their natural habitat, learn skills you never knew you needed, and play silly games for the chance to win an exciting range of new badges!

The Iron Man
Graeae presents The Iron Man by Ted Hughes adapted for Graeae by Paul Sirett and co-directed by Jenny Sealey and Amit Sharma


The unexpected arrival of the towering Iron Man casts a shadow of fear across a small farm community. But when an enormous dragon from outer-space threatens to annihilate the planet, it is the Iron Man who comes to the rescue. Ted Hughes’ classic modern fable is brought to life through a colossal iron puppet, live and recorded soundscapes and a compelling mix of words, sign language and audio descriptive narrative.

Winner of the Latest 7 Award for Best Children’s Show at The Brighton Festival 2011 and three NNFEST Children Choice Awards, at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2011.

Composer and Sound Designer Lewis Gibson
Designer Sofie Layton


All this fun and more! We hope to see you here in Skegness for what looks to be a fabulous lineup at the 2015 SO Festival.

For the latest up-to date info visit the SO Festival website please click here.