Credit: National Historic Ships Uk

By Carmelo Garcia – Local Democracy Reporter

The larger vessels taking part in this weekend’s Gloucester Tall Ships Festival are expected to arrive from Friday morning.

More details have been released about the plans for this weekend’s much anticipated event which will be set against the historic backdrop of Gloucester Docks from May 25 to Monday 27.

The first tall ships are scheduled to arrive in British waters late on Thursday, May 23 and head to the Sharpness Canal to make their way to early to Gloucester on Friday, May 24, with Irene and the Spirit of Falmouth due to dock at around lunchtime and Grayhound and The Phoenix will follow behind in the early afternoon.

The smaller vessel, Vilma is scheduled to dock in Gloucester on Thursday, May 23 early in the evening. All the ships take around four hours to cross through the Sharpness Canal Lock, navigate the waterways and arrive in Gloucester Docks, ready to get into position for the bi-annual city celebration of its maritime history.

The ships will be the star attraction for Spring Bank Holiday weekend event alongside a stunning main stage music line-up, which features ‘Wellerman’ chart-topper Nathan Evans, and festival favourites such as Brassienda and The Old Time Sailors, the festival is fit to bursting with street theatre, interactive installations, playgrounds, funfairs and a submarine that will be skippered by a DJ!

A new outdoor performance space – the Mariners Theatre – will host a programme of exhilarating live street theatre and walkabout performances, with highlights including Simple Cypher; a fusion of hip-hop and circus performed by a talented trio combining explosive tricks and playful interactions.

The Acro Sailors will also be displaying their incredible strength and agility as they create human towers and showcase feats of balance and coordination that defy gravity.

Step Hop House will help audiences get into the festival spirit with a feel-good and funky performance around the maypole, blending traditional hip-hop and folk-dance styles into a high-energy spectacle, accompanied by live fiddle and beatboxing.

Also watch out for HMS Punafore – a unique take on a Gilbert and Sullivan classic. Young shipmates can get hands-on in the Kids Zone, with the UK premier of Friends of Cruso, an interactive installation featuring large-scale games inspired by a shipwreck, as well as joining Gloucester-based company GAS Projects for craft workshops where children can let their creativity set sail and make their own nautical-inspired arts and crafts.

A series of interactive installations will come to life around the Docks to spark festivalgoers’ imaginations.

Meet the Dragon Whisperer in the  Wagon of Dreams, a converted retro caravan, where a playful and inventive family show is packed with puppetry, music and laughter, presented by Jellyfish Theatre, while those in search of family fun will enjoy The Whale, a giant metal sculpture which will playfully swallow audiences whole to take part in a mini theatre experience!

In addition to the festival’s line up of international music on the Main Stage, audiences can take in the sounds of local talent at the Crane stage. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Gloucester Docks, the stage will featuring an eclectic line-up of performers, including Radio 2 Folk Award nominee Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne, BBC Introducing favourites Saint Senara, along with a selection of emerging artists presented by Gloucester’s Music Works, including Immi Dash and Muna Mone.

Fresh from last year’s Eurovision celebrations in Liverpool, the Blue and Yellow Submarine is part art installation and part DJ booth and will be the third stage at the festival, providing live entertainment for all festival-goers.

Of course, no celebration is complete without classic funfair attractions, including a Big Wheel, Carousel, and more, offering timeless entertainment for the whole family.

“This year’s line up is pretty special” said Robin Kemp, Creative Director of the festival.

“Our mix of historic tall ships, performers, experiences, and entertainment has been inspired by the global connectivity and history of the docks.

“But most importantly to create a cracking day out for everyone. Great live music, incredible ships, jaw dropping street theatre and some maritime madness come together for a great few days on the docks!”

Gloucester News Centre – http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk

Gloucester Tall Ships Festival to return this weekend by Admin | Gloucester News Centre - http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk/
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