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The Reading Thames Festival | 26th – 29th September 2019‎

Mesmerizing show featuring aerial acrobatics, water dives and special effects

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From revolutionary independent female musicians brought together by In Place of War, to Cirque Bijou’s mesmerising outdoor performances, the return of Reading Between The Lines for the next installment of Reading’s medieval history, a conversational meal, a midnight run/walk, classical music from the renowned London Mozart Players, film, history walks, photography exhibitions, promenade theatre from SITELINES and much more.

The Reading Thames Festival takes its inspiration from Reading’s majestic waterways and sets out to create a vibrant, broad appeal arts and cultural festival programme set in venues and unusual outdoor spaces across Reading. Between 6-16 September, Festival-audiences can expect to encounter exhilarating performances and unexpected encounters.
The Reading Thames Festival is back for its second year, bringing together a rich tapestry of artists and performers, venues and unusual outdoor sites across Reading to create exhilarating audience experiences and unexpected encounters. The Festival aims to be a catalyst for collaboration and partnership across Reading’s creative and cultural sector.

The festival aims to be a catalyst for a new spirit of collaboration and partnership across Reading’s creative and cultural sector. The festival brings together the rich tapestry of venues and unusual outdoor sites across Reading to create exhilarating audience experiences and unexpected encounters, illuminating Reading as a place of parks and rivers, culture and diversity.

From revolutionary independent female musicians brought together by In Place of War, to Cirque Bijou’s mesmerising outdoor performances, the return of Reading Between The Lines for the next installment of Reading’s medieval history, a conversational meal, a midnight run/walk, classical music from the renowned London Mozart Players, film, history walks, photography exhibitions, promenade theatre from SITELINES and much more.

The programme includes nationally-renowned performers and the finest Reading-based arts groups working in collaboration to create a unique experience for audiences. Highlights include In Place of War’s GRRRL featuring Charlotte Adigéry – a live music concert with performances from revolutionary independent female artists from Brazil, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Venezuela, Bangladesh and the UK, fusing music from ghetto base to electronica; fresh from their involvement in Lumière London, Cirque Bijou** will be bringing A Circus Soiree, an immersive evening of the most contemporary of circus, to the banks of the Thames at Caversham Court Gardens; renowned philosopher Theodore Zeldin will be hosting a conversational meal, Theodore Zeldin’s Feast of Strangers, on the top floor of Thames Tower; there will be a night-time arts-filled walk through Reading, The Reading Midnight Run; high-quality classical music from the London Mozart Players in the High Sheriff of Berkshire’s Concert; a film trail; film showings and photography.

Reading Between The Lines will be returning for the next theatrical instalment of Reading’s medieval history (dates tbc); there will be heritage walks linked to VOTE 100 and Reading’s Abbey heritage; a new contribution from the SITELINES theatre programme from Laura Mugridge along the Thames and the Flamingods live in the Abbey Ruins, complete with light installation.

Reading Thames Festival is a Reading UK production with support from the Great Place scheme funded by Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England. The Festival has also received generous funding from Two Forbury Place, The Oracle shopping centre, Graham and Joanna Barker, Savills, PRS Foundation and support from Reading Buses, Landid, VOTE 100 and Reading Borough Council.

Anna Doyle, Festival Director, said: “The festival this year is welcoming new artists from across the UK to respond to Reading’s communities, its locale and is a celebration of the area’s home-grown, world-class local cultural talent. We are proud to connect to Vote 100 nationwide celebrations in which 2018 marks 100 years since Parliament passed a law which allowed the first women, and all men, to vote for the first time. The festival programme is conceived to be developed across the next years with the local community, and this year there are plenty of ways for people living and working in Reading to get involved with shaping the festival. To find out more please visit the website.”

Nigel Horton-Baker, Executive Director, Reading UK said: “After the success of the first Festival last year, we are really excited by the programme for 2018 which mixes many of our finest cultural groups with performers of international repute. Over 10 days in September, the Reading Thames Festival will showcase Reading, its vibrant cultural community and its growing stature as a cultural destination.”

The Reading Thames Festival was conceived by Reading UK as a legacy event from Reading’s Year of Culture in 2016. It aims to be a catalyst for collaboration and partnership across Reading’s creative and cultural sector, illuminating Reading as a place of culture, diversity, rivers and parks.

Tickets will be on sale for each individual event. Many of the events are free and where ticket prices apply, they have been set to make the Festival as accessible as possible.

Future Vision The festival, as a part of Reading Place of Culture Great Place, has funding secured for the next three years. The vision for the festival across the forthcoming years is to go beyond the traditional festival model to demonstrate its commitment to supporting the cultural and local economy. Through working in partnership, the festival will not only act as an advocate but as an instigator for new talent and cultural development.

The Festival is organised by Reading UK, but we couldn’t do it without the support of a great many other organisations, particularly the Reading Great Place scheme, funded by Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England.

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Events

West Reading Window Wanderland 2020 | 29 Feb – 1 Mar 2020

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This will be the second Window Wanderland accross the whole of West Reading.

The idea is to cheer up otherwise dark and cold evenings with fun and light, in the form of decorated windows, and an opportunity for the community to come together. People can walk with neighbours and friends to follow the window trail and explore their neighbourhod in a new light.

Last year, over 40 houses decorated their windows and hundreds of school children decorated their school windows at Wilson Primary, Battle School and Oxford Road Community School. Over one thousand people downloaded the map to follow the magical trail with friends and neighbours.

2020 will be even bigger and brighter. If you would like to find out more, or get involved by decorating your windows at home, at work, at school, at a nursery, at a business or organisation please sign up here and encourage your neighbours to get involved. This works so well if a lots of people take part on a street and then get together to see eachother’s windows. See how one street had fun doing this last year here.

The organisers will again be holding free workshops where they’ll provide materials, tools and people can swap ideas, tips and skills.

West Reading Window Wanderland 2020 | 29 Feb – 1 Mar 2020 from 6pm to 9pm. Please register or sign in to make a window.

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Events

Christmas Lights Switch On in Reading | Broad Street – 16 November

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The lead up to Christmas officially begins in Reading this weekend as the lights are switched on around the town.

Starting from Santa arriving on a motorised bed to light up the town and Broad Street Mall with thousands of Christmas lights, three new trees sparkle at the station, in Broad Street and The Forbury

Music in Broad Street to accompany the Christmas lights switch on:-

Jive Aces 12.30 -2.30 (X Factor finalists)

RASPO (Reading All Steel Percussion Orchestra) 3.00 – 5.00

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Events

Magical Extravaganza | 30 November 2019

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Magical Christmas in Reading – Broad Street & Abbey Ruins

Part of Magical Christmas in Reading, join us for a day of entertainment in Broad Street and a night of music, boat trips, food, light and fireworks in the Abbey Ruins. With music from Ma Bessie, Dat Brass, Avenue and Flamenco Thief, a boat tour from Cast Iron Theatre and a lighting installation from Pif-Paf Theatre, all topped off with fireworks. This is sure to be a night to remember.

The event begins at 12:00 and runs until 18:00.

No alcohol on site. Bag searches will be in operation. 

Please be aware that this is an outdoor event therefore open to the elements.

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