Derby Festé 2008

Derby Festé 2008

WOW!

What an absolutely amazing night the opening of Derby Festé 2008 was!

Giant insects:

Derby Festé 2008

Fireworks:

Derby Festé 2008

And the enchanting Heliosphere pictured at the top.

We got into town around eight and were just in time to see the Sarruga insects marching past Bold Lane. I think my fave was the mantis, I loved the way it nibbled on vegetation it was passing. 🙂

Then the assorted giant creatures met in the market place and ambled around for a while before the Heliosphere rose into view like a multi-coloured moon. The crowd was all ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs’ as the graceful dancer swooped and soared, sometimes just touching hands with the audience:

Derby Festé 2008

Finally, some very lovely fireworks (more ‘ooohs’ from the crowd) and the launch of Festé 2008 was over. A perfect way to introduce Quad Derby to the 4,500 people who passed through the doors last night.

It was marvellous to feel such a positive, friendly vibe in Derby and be surrounded by thousands of people enjoying the show. Honestly, it’s the best thing I’ve seen in Derby since… well, probably the dragons last year. 🙂

Here’s to Festé 2009!

(Click any of the pics for a gallery from last night!)

Quadness

Derby Quad

Yesterday, I went for a meeting at Derby’s new centre for the arts and film, the Quad.

I’ve been invited, along with around with a few other peeps, to be a Quad Ambassador. Sadly, this doesn’t mean that I can embark on a crime spree and then scuttle to sanctuary in the Quad. What it actually entails is spreading the word about Quad and also passing any ideas or criticisms back.

We got a little tour of the new building and it’s very impressive. There’s a large space for exhibitions, two cinema screens, the first BFI Mediatheque outside of London and a bright, airy cafe. To see this kind of initiative in Derby is inspiring. And I’m not just saying that because the cinema seats are far more comfortable than the bum-destroying ones at the Westfield.

I really hope that Quad can kick-start new art in Derby in the context of its friendly, inclusive space. It’ll also be wonderful to have a purpose-built environment for art and film rather than somewhere adapted to those functions after the fact. Looking out of the Quad’s windows at the Market Place felt strange, like a whole new era in Derby had arrived.

The Quad officially opens on Friday, September 26th so you can pop down yourself then and have a look around. In the mean time, if you’d like a sneak peak, just click on the pic above for a little tour!