Festival of Thrift announces expansion of event for 2018

The award-winning Festival of Thrift is expanding its hugely popular programme in 2018.

Following the success of the 2017 event, which attracted over 45,000 visitors, this year’s will be preceded in August by Viewpoints,  a Tees Valley-wide display of specially commissioned artworks, and a launch parade and party on the Friday that will kick off the Festival itself.

The artworks will be located in the Tees Valley landscape and will reflect the theme of environmental sustainability, a key focus of the Festival, which is recognised as being the UK’s leading celebration of sustainable living.  Artists are currently being recruited with support from Tees Valley Combined Authority, Redcar’s Palace Arts and MIMA, with a deadline of March 19th.

The launch parade and party, which will be a celebration of the culmination of months of community workshops, projects and activity in the run up to the Festival, will take the Festival right to the heart of Redcar town centre on the evening of Friday 21 September, ahead of the event itself, which runs from 10am – 5pm on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September.

Starting at Kirkleatham and taking waves of revellers into Redcar town centre and seafront, the parade aims to provide a thrifty, fun extravaganza as a warm up to the Festival’s big weekend of sustainable living, encouraging visitors to book in advance and stay the weekend.

Led by Middlesbrough-based Stellar Projects, the parade will feature community and professional performers and musicians.  Supporting the 2018’s Festival theme of sustainable travel, it will include all kinds of cycling and pedal powered activity, and will see a return visit by Russian company Cardboardia, whose quirky creations were a hugely popular feature with festival-goers at the 2017 event.

The parade will also showcase the Festival’s work with PROCESSIONS, a nationwide art project celebrating the centenary of the women’s vote, led by Artichoke who created Lumiere Durham and Lumiere London.

Festival of Thrift director, Stella Hall, is excited about building on the ongoing success of the event which is now in its sixth year.

“Announcing the expansion of this unique and amazing event is fantastic news and our visitors will be as thrilled about it as we all are in the Festival team.

“The Festival is now well-established as a cultural must and is a staple of the North East calendar, attracting visitors and investment from across the UK and shining a positive spotlight on Redcar and the Tees Valley.  These new additions to our programme will certainly add to that.

“We will be announcing further details of the full programme over the next few months, with plenty of opportunities to get involved, so watch this space.”

The Festival organisers are currently also discussing opportunities for partnerships with the event with a range of organisations.

Stella added: “Now is the time to drop us a line if you’d like to become a Festival partner.  We work with all kinds of sustainably-minded businesses to help them connect with our huge community of people committed to environmental sustainability.

“We will need additional support to help us grow and are really looking forward to working with some like-minded, forward thinking businesses and highlighting all the wonderful things that the Tees Valley region has to offer.”

The Kirkleatham-based National Festival of Thrift offers a packed arts programme of things to make, do, see and share alongside a mix of stallholders selling artisan goods and locally-sourced food and drink and attracts visitors of all ages.

In 2017 the event generated an overall economic impact of over £840k which translates to a contribution to the Redcar economy of over £1/4M, supporting 14 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs.