DarkFest will celebrate south Shropshire skies

A weekend of events are being planned to celebrate the dark skies of south Shropshire.

DarkFest will take place in November
DarkFest will take place in November

DarkFest on the weekend of November 12 and 13 aims to entice people into the dark and to play and marvel at the dark skies in Church Stretton's Carding Mill Valley.

Producer Ben Osborne said: “DarkFest will generate an intense atmosphere of discovery and mystery through a combination of light, sound, song, words and movement.

"Working in darkness, starlight, moonlight and firelight we will entice people out to celebrate the winter dark with a multiple events: fire sculptures, night time photography workshops, silent disco illuminated after dark aerobics, an illuminated trail of light sculptures, storytelling round the fire and choir singing in the dark.”

DarkFest is the vision of photographer Ben Osborne creative producer Sian Allen, who are working with a team of five other local creatives, poet Jean Atkin, visual artist Kate Johnston, fire artist Jon Bielstein, storyteller, musician and fitness instructor Sal Tonge and choir leader and composer Mary Keith.

Events will either be free or moderately priced, organisers said.

Three creative writing walks in August led to poetic words, some of which are being set to music by composer Mary Keith. The resulting harmony songs will be performed live in the dark.

DarkFest will give people unusual creative experiences, to open their eyes to seeing a familiar place in a new way. DarkFest will use the landscape both as a canvas for ideas and as a medium in its own right.

All events are being planned to be possible with no direct physical interaction, yet designed to bring us together in shared outdoor experiences.

Information about the project can be found on the DarkFest page on Facebook, which is regularly updated. All events are bookable on Eventbrite

The project has been made possible thanks to financial support from Arts Council England, and practical support from the National Trust.

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