Crowds come in for Out There

PUBLISHED: 08:56 03 November 2008 | UPDATED: 12:10 03 July 2010

From samba bands and folk dancers to street theatre and art workshops, the Out There festival brought artists and performers from all corners of the world to Yarmouth.

From samba bands and folk dancers to street theatre and art workshops, the Out There festival brought artists and performers from all corners of the world to Yarmouth.

A mix of street performances, live music and quirky theatre drew thousands of visitors to the town on Saturday and Sunday.

The town centre was bustling with a variety of street artists offering everything from science in a suitcase to a pair of cheeky 5ft-tall seagulls and skilled cocktail-shakers showing that mixing a drink could be an artform in itself.

French theatre group Les Alama's Givrés performed the UK premiere of their new comic show, which looks at what will happen when petrol runs out, outside St George's Theatre on Friday and again on Saturday.

But one of the main draws of the festival - a daredevil tightrope walk across Yarmouth market place on Saturday night followed by fireworks - had to be cancelled because of high winds and heavy rain.

Even so, organiser Joe Mackintosh, chief executive of the SeaChange Arts charity, said the weekend was every bit as successful as he had hoped.

“It has been brilliant. It's showed people that something really good and exciting is happening here in Yarmouth. It was a real shame about the tightrope walk: we were all very disappointed. But you can't book the weather, and it didn't dampen the spirits of the people who braved the weather and stayed about on Saturday evening,” he said.

The festival had an international soundtrack, ranging from rockers Stone Gods to a 10-piece Brazilian samba band.

Yesterday's international music festival featured live sounds from all corners of the world, with Icelandic musician Olafur Arnalds starting the afternoon's entertainment with his powerful mix of classical instrumentals and indie rock.

The festival ended with an evening of music to celebrate the finale of Norfolk Black History Month.

The concert, produced by Out There with the Yarmouth International Association and Norfolk Action for Education and Development, featured Cuban folk music, Brazilian martial arts and traditional Zimbabwean music and dance from Anna Mudeka.

The toe-tapping show was brought to a close by the Moleque de Rua samba band, comprised of several generations of Sao Paulo street children who have made their own instruments from recycled materials and mix traditional Brazilian samba music with hip hop and rock.

Mr Mackintosh said: “The whole event has been fantastic. The best thing has been watching the mix of people getting involved.

“It has been really radical for Yarmouth, but within three days we've gone from mild suspicion about the events to genuine interest and excitement, which is great

to see.

“Now that everyone gets the idea of what Out There is about, we hope we can show people that this is a festival that they own and can be a part of.”

Out There, which has cost more than £180,000, marks Yarmouth's contribution to the ZEPA (Zone European Projets Artistique) partnership of street art festivals across the continent.

Mr Mackintosh already has plans to make Out There an annual event and is hoping to secure a further E1.2m of EU funding in February to secure it for the next four years.

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