Organisers of the 10th annual Derby Festé announced today that this year’s arts spectacular will see the return of the stunning giant fire-breathing dragons that took the city by storm at the first ever Festé in 2007.
Festé first came to the city centre streets in September 2007 to mark the opening of the Westfield Derby shopping centre (now Intu Derby) and then, the following year, the opening of QUAD arts centre and has grown in size and stature every year since then.
Derby Festé 2016 will be held on Friday September 23 and Saturday 24 and the partnership of arts organisations who work together to plan the two-day event – Déda, QUAD, Derby Theatre and Derby LIVE – have confirmed the first headline act.
The Sarruga Dragons are giant robotic creatures created by world famous Catalonian street-arts company Sarruga who have performed across the world.
The breath-taking parade will start at Derby Riverlights and wind its way through St Peters Quarter and the Cathedral Quarter before making a spectacular entrance to the Market Place followed by a party with live bands and lots of dancing.
Derby Festé Artistic Director Stephen Munn, Director at regional dance house Déda explained why the Sarruga Dragons were to make a welcome return to the Festé calendar.
“To mark the tenth Derby Festé this year – we wanted to re-capture the excitement and sense of wonder that everyone felt at that first festival back in 2007.
“People still talk about the Sarruga Dragons as they were a spectacle that had never previously been witnessed in Derby.
“The main feedback was that, on that very special night, Derby felt like a truly European city. It raised the bar for arts and culture in the city and proved the public appetite for outdoor entertainment and arts festivals.”
“Festé and, indeed the city as a whole, has come a really long way since 2007 so we thought that this was a fitting way to mark this milestone for the festival which has certainly put Derby on the arts and culture map and spearheaded our growing reputation as a festival city.”
Pete Meakin Culture Development Manager at Derby City Council added: “Derby Festé looks set to be another spectacular two-day festival for local people and visitors to our city alike to enjoy.
“It is a true partnership event – bringing together the energy, creativity and expertise of a number of organisations who have the vision and know-how to combine high quality outdoor entertainment with crowd pleasing spectacles.
“We are proud that Derby Festé has grown to a festival of national and international repute and has helped to put Derby on the map.”
Adam Buss, Director at QUAD continued: “We had no idea what reception Festé would have back in 2007 and, to our delight, more than 25,000 came out onto the streets to watch this and the other acts.
“Numbers have swelled since then and we have tried to bring together a combination of dance, music, contemporary circus and street theatre acts from around the UK and the world for the annual festival.
“The full programme for Derby Festé 2016 is currently being finalised and we will be announcing the Saturday evening headline act and all the daytime street entertainment across St Peters Quarter, Cathedral Quarter and at Intu Derby and Derby Riverlights in the next couple of weeks.”
Sarah Brigham, Artistic Director of Derby Theatre, added: “The joy of acts such as the Sarruga Dragons is that they really interact with the crowds and people are drawn into the drama of the act.
“This is a very fitting way to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Derby Festé and I am sure will bring thousands of people onto the streets of Derby.”