St Leonards Festival: Everything you need to know about this free family event

St Leonards Festival returns again on Saturday, August 14 to offer hours of free family fun.

Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 6:54 am

The popular community arts festival takes place in and around Warrior Square.

The colourful festival features storytelling and circus zones and a music and dance zone.

Entertainment includes Circus Pazaz, professional hula-hoop artist Xena Flame and amazing stunts and fire acts from the UK African Acrobats. There will also be a festival parade.

St Leonards Festival Poster 1 SUS-211108-063750001

Storytellers include Nana Tsiboe, a master Ghanian percussionist and drummer, and Isabella Bicycle, telling stories from her incredible bicycling adventures.

The Shawmi Dance Company will be offering a dance workshop as well as performing Indian Classical and South Asian Contemporary Dance.

The daytime festival runs from middy to 6pm. It will continue into the evening with some spectacular illuminated shows provided by The Dream Engine. There will be performances at 8.30pm, 9pm and 9.30pm.

The popular community arts festival takes place in and around Warrior Square.

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The colourful festival features storytelling and circus zones and a music and dance zone.

Entertainment includes Circus Pazaz, professional hula-hoop artist Xena Flame and amazing stunts and fire acts from the UK African Acrobats. There will also be a festival parade.

Storytellers include Nana Tsiboe, a master Ghanian percussionist and drummer, and Isabella Bicycle, telling stories from her incredible bicycling adventures.

The St Leonards Festival is organised by 18 Hours Events, a social enterprise committed to environmental sustainability, diversity and inclusivity through education and events.

St Leonards Festival 2019. Photo by Roberts Photographic. SUS-190107-072135001

Maria Ezobi, from 18 Hours, said: “Summer isn’t summer without the community-minded St Leonards Festival in Warrior Square. The alcohol-free event is back this Saturday for everyone to enjoy.”

Festival Director Mandy Curtis said: “After having to postpone 2020’s event three times, we can’t quite believe it’s finally here. It’s so exciting to see all these great acts lined up to entertain St Leonards’ audiences.”

St Leonards Festival offers entertainment from diverse cultures with something for everyone.

This year’s layout is designed to encourage Covid safe fun. Warrior Square Gardens will be divided in to four zones; Music and Dance, Circus, Storytelling and Community. The daytime programme runs from 12 noon until 6pm followed by illuminated aerial performances at 8.30pm and 9.15pm from The Dream Engine with their acts Diamond and Octo.

The circus and story-telling zones have a bountiful programme of performers and workshops for children and families. Dulce Duca, Xena Flame, Circus Pazaz and UK African Acrobats will be twirling, flipping, and going crazy in the Big Top with their daring exploits whilst Nana Tsiboe, Isabella Bicycle and Half a String will tell tales you’ve never heard before in the Hastings Storytelling Festival Marquee.

Alex D’Great will also be running a calypso workshop in the Storytelling area, as well as performing on stage in the Music and Dance zone.

Highlights on the music stage include local band, Frank from Blue Velvet with their stylistically unique guitar riffs and dancing swing beats, and St Leonards’ sensational new girl band, Message from the Ravens, who range through haunting indie folk to full power 90s feminist sass.

Other acts include The St Leonards Dance Troupe, the Bangladeshi Forum. Aretha Dance’s bellydancing and Showmi Dance Company. Aretha Dance and Showmi will run dance workshops to get you moving to the grooves. There will also be spoken word and music from Eggtooth’s talented young performers such as Elisha Edwards and Izzy Withers.

Daytime performance end at 6pm with a break before the evening’s spectacular aerial displays from The Dream Engine and a promenade performance from The Lightwalkers. There are two identical performances: one at 8.15pm and again at 9.30pm.

The event organisers, 18 Hours, remind us to be Covid-aware: “We encourage you to take a lateral flow test 24 hours before and 48 hours after the festival. Please stay home if you or a close contact has Covid symptoms. Give other people plenty of space and wear a mask in busy areas. We invite you to register your attendance using the QR codes on site and to use the hand sanitising stations.”

For more information Visit www.stleonardsfestival.org.