Fiery start to Derby Feste
It was an atmospheric start to this year's Festé celebrations as a Derby park was transformed into a Fire Garden. The fifth annual Festé outdoor arts festival is expected to attract up to 30,000 people to a series of events in and around the city centre.
Festé producers and pyrotechnics experts Walk the Plank devised a Fire Garden made up of burning bulrushes and red hot flowers.
Inside the luminous landscape were lanterns created during a community project led by Quad-based Surtal Arts. Giant Chimes – three-metre high aluminium tubes – created a sonic backdrop to the night's activities.
Skateboarders giving demonstrations of their skills on the new skate park, musicians from city orchestra Sinfonia Viva and dancers from Liquid, a youth performance group with dance organisation Déda, brought the garden to life.
Festé was officially opened by the Mayor of Derby, Councillor Les Allen, who said: "Festé gets bigger and better and is getting acclaim not only in Derby but nationally and internationally as the best street festival in the UK.
"Arts and culture is important to everyone's life and Festé is a great event which brings all communities together and which shows off the best of Derby."
Stephen Munn, from Déda, one of the organising partners with Quad and Derby Live, said: "The festival programme this year is full and fantastic."
But as the festival has no permanent regular funding he called for more financial backing.
"The venues in Derby are working very hard, together and in partnership but in order to carry on doing that the investment needs to continue," he said.
Festé continues today with events in the city centre including family activities at Quad, performance stages by the Waterfall and in Blacksmith's Yard and attractions on Cathedral Green – including an acrobatic piece of outdoor theatre from French group Les 3 Points de Suspension at 4pm.
Tonight, Spanish visitors Sarruga will turn Derby into an undersea kingdom with a parade of sea creatures from 8pm.
Festé will then come to an end with an outdoor salsa party in the Market Place from 9pm.