Hula hoops, sonic bikes and theatre on a bus

The Festival of Imagineers encouraged people to play on the streets and think big.

The fifth edition of the Festival of Imagineers, Coventry’s annual festival which celebrates art, design and engineering encouraged the people of Coventry and beyond to play the streets, have conversations and experience theatre in unusual spaces including a special bus in a week-long celebration. Imagineer refused to let the weather dampen the Festival’s scale and ambition.

Throughout the week audiences experienced an amazing performance of BLOCK by NoFit State Circus and Motionhouse, a jaw-dropping fusion of dance and circus inside the new Cathedral; an incredible week of performances, Rear View by IOU, on a custom-made double decker bus which saw the city become the stage for a totally immersive headphones experience written and performed for Coventry by two outstanding writers and spoken word artists; the final performance of the week Teatr Biuro Podrozy’s Carmen Funebre was an unforgettable piece of theatre set against the backdrop of the Cathedral Ruins.

Broadgate was transformed with Collectif Coin’s Child Hood. A stunning light and sound installation that captivated all who experienced it briefly changing the whole landscape of a familiar city centre location.

Hoops and bikes were highlights throughout the week. From the incredible 23m tall feat of engineering that was Hupla in the Cathedral, made of 1000 hoops decorated by 4 of the city’s schools in partnership with Arup, to Hoop Mania as part of the Festival Finale which saw festival-goers make their own hoop sculptures whilst everyone who stepped anywhere near a hoop gave hula a try! During the week the Imagineers introduced their newest invention the Buzz Bike created by artists and engineers, a cargo bike with a sonic sound track.

Throughout the week and the Festival Finale audiences participated from stitching beneath the Artichoke’s Processions banners with textile artist Julie O’Connell to creating playgrounds with Ludic Rooms. Imagineer also spent the week gathering stories as part of the development of the Bridge project as well as sharing stories gathered to-date through headphones and movement. Expect to see and hear more about Bridge in 2019.

During the Festival, national and international producers, engineers, academics and artists came together in an innovative event at the Shop Front Theatre for a day of inspiring conversation exploring how cultural and engineering professionals can collaborate to create amazing new outdoor arts. The day culminated in Imagineer welcoming a speaker from across the globe, the inspiring Harley K. Dubois who spoke to a packed audience about Burning Man, its mission to change the world and how Imagineer and Coventry can be part of that mission.

Jane Hytch, Chief Executive Imagineer said: “What a week. It has been wonderful to see what can happen when people come together and think big! We’ve learnt so much this week, shared so many innovative ideas and met incredibly creative people.

“The people of Coventry, and beyond, took to the streets to play, participate and contribute their ideas and we look forward to reflecting on all these experiences as we continue to develop our long-term projects such as Bridge and the Buzz Bike.”

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