Here’s a quick overview of what’s on but scroll down to find out more about each of the artist, performers or groups involved.
Pif Paf– Moths at work- Moon
Two Moth Electricians Touring the streets, your festival or event alongside their mobile cart of wonder (complete with Moon on a stick!) gathering and sharing out Joy and Light.
Pif-Paf is a wildly ambitious theatre company creating top notch performance and sculpture and taking it to the places it doesn’t normally reach. Our work is presented outdoors and in non-traditional spaces and we are keenly involved in the development of outdoor arts. We are based in Sheffield working around the UK and beyond delivering small and mid-scale touring shows and commissions all with a unique visual, high-quality and accessible style.
The company is based around the collaboration of joint artistic directors Pete Gunson and Eleanor Hooper supported an amazing crew of freelance performers, makers and musicians.
Burnley-based drumming band Suco Samba is a community drumming band, with the primary aim of providing opportunities for members of the community to enjoy the many benefits of drumming. As an open group, Suco Samba invites in new members throughout the year, regardless of whether they’ve even picked up an instrument or if they’ve played drums for years, everyone is welcome. Taking influence from the rhythms of Brazil, Suco Samba delivers a variety of powerful bass lines and toe tapping rhythms that are sure to get the audience moving and grooving!
This year sees a new mapped projection piece from Jack Lockhart – ‘Bird Party’ -created in collaboration with Kerris Casey-St.Pierre and including community submissions of work from Inspired by Art recovery group, Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, artists Cath Ford, Leonie Stephenson will bring the Town Hall to life in a new and exciting way!
Previous films from 2021’s Anniversary celebration and our Virtual Parade film from 2019’s lockdown will also be reshown, so here is a chance to see them again
BFOL Street Band
Come and join in the fun and be part of Blackburn Festival of Light’s Street Band!
The group meet on Wednesdays all year round to learn drumming and percussion – a mix of Samba, Carnival, African and South Asian rhythms in weekly workshops working towards being part of our parades and events. This activity is open to all levels- beginners encouraged as well as more experienced members.
BFOL Stilt Walkers
Our stilt walkers have been practicing over the last few weeks, and will be featured in the parade as a flock of parakeets. We’re hoping the ground isn’t too treacherous for them, but if it is too slippy, they will be out in costume, but stilt free. Fingers crossed for them as they really want to tower over everyone!
Every year we have training sessions in advance of the parade, so keep an eye out for ways to be involved and you could be a stilt walking parakeet too!
Travelling Light Circus
Shona and Dan from the Travelling Light Circus have choreographed and performed together for the past 9 years. They combine Dan’s fire skills in circus props with Shona’s dance background bringing exciting, playful contemporary circus for everyone to enjoy. Together they have performed at many community events, arts festivals, large music festivals both nationally and internationally. They are extremely passionate about what they do and guarantee to bring all of the fun!
Flame Oz have not only been training our fire dancers, but will be part of the finale show with a fire performance act and some impressive pyros!
Our team of fire dancers have been training with Dimitri of Flame Oz and are ready to wow you with their performance.
Every year there is the opportunity for new members to join the team and do a short course of training ready to perform in the finale- if you are interested in taking part please get in touch- we’d love you to be involved. ( You don’t need to be a dancer, or a young person either- just over 13 and prepared to practice!)
The parade is the heart and core of our event. People attend workshops over the 4-6 weeks before the event to create lanterns. We have a series of open workshops in town centre venues as well as workshops in the community with groups and schools.
Every year more people get involved and learn how to make a lantern and then come along and carry it. There may be some spare lanterns to carry but the best bet is always to come along and make your own!
If you made a lantern and want to collect it, then please come to The Exchange between 4.15 and 4.45pm on Saturday. You will be given a safety briefing and a carrying stick, and will then need to make your way to the parade line up to get your lantern lit by one of our stewards.
Also featured in the parade are some of our large lanterns- made by commissioned artists, often with student participation from degree or college students.
A highly skilled fire performer, fire juggler and fire eater, The Fire Man Dave is a festival favourite.
See him in the Finale arena from 5-6pm whilst you wait for the parade to arrive , or catch him in the finale with his ‘Great Balls of Fire’ Act!
An event in Blackburn without Blowjangles just isn’t right!
Blowjangles play a mixture of Ska, Reggae, bit of 60’s stuff but generally big and bouncy tunes that get you in the mood for a good time!
Giant Bird Lanterns
Enter The Exchange to see the Giant Bird Lanterns.
The Duck, Goose and Heron were created by artist Kerith Ogden for Burnley Canal Festival and have featured at Cloudspotting Festival- now they are here in Blackburn!
Jack Frost was made in 2019 by artist Jess Rost working with Student intern Christian Bell and a group of degree students. Our artistic director Kerris Casey-St.Pierre was determined to have him feature this year riding a giant swan and so created a new piece to adapt the Ark for 2019’s Summer parade and convert it into the Giant Swan!
Our Green man also makes a repeat appearance alongside a giant Toucan and a hummingbird kindly lent to us by Gypsy Carrot events and decor.
The Exchange will also be hosting Darwen Community Drum Circle and offering free hoit chocolate.