30 September, 2021

Light up your life: volunteer at an Arches-Worcester Festival

Claire Neville
Uncategorized

Light Night Worcester, the eclectic event which took the city by storm in January 2020, is making a comeback in October.  As the Arches Festivals team explains, there are plenty of ways to get involved and play a close-up part in all the action.

From friendly volunteers helping out visitors to individuals and communities working with artists to bring their performances to life, there’s a role for everyone at Light Night Worcester 2021.

Festivals volunteer Jean Paskell describes what her experience was like at Light Night Worcester last year.

“Volunteering with The Arches Festivals has given me the opportunity to have new experiences, meet different people, and help make Worcester a fun place to visit,” she says.

“I helped put up signs, hand out flyers and stewarded the installations. I loved meeting everyone involved in the event, organisers, fellow volunteers, performers, artists, guests and of course interacting with many of the thousands of visitors.

“It was incredible seeing so many people simply enjoying themselves, laughing, smiling and being friendly with each other. Every restaurant and coffee shop was full, there was a special vitality to the streets; people appreciated the absence of commercialism and the opportunity to be young and playful.”

The Arches Festivals showcase local and emerging talent alongside established international artists. For Light Night Worcester 2020, Cirque Bijou’s umbrella project involved 50 local performers keen to be part of the choreographed procession of light up umbrellas which travelled through the streets of Worcester.

Talia Crouch-Damianovsky, Umbrella performer tells us what it was like: “I took part in the umbrella project and had the most amazing time. It was fantastic to be a part of such an exciting event in Worcester and work with Cirque Bijou, and I remember how incredible it was to see so many people in the city enjoying themselves.

“The Arches Festivals’ Light Night made me think differently about art and entertainment in Worcester and the opportunities I could have when I graduated from the University.”

The Arches Festivals are committed to supporting artists and for ‘Same But Different’, their most recent event, poems from 10 local writers were selected from submissions to be stencilled on the city streets. New artists are benefiting too; to date four graduate commissions have been awarded.  These provide a first opportunity for many to be paid to create work and to showcase it, alongside established artists.  

Children from Lyppard Grange Primary School have already helped to shape a large-scale light projection, imitating a dog, for Light Night Worcester 2021. The festivals team will soon be asking for people to sign up to take part in “Lullaby” by Luke Jerram, where illuminated bikes will bring a brand-new bedtime song created by local children to neighbourhoods in Worcester. 

If you want to get stuck into staging unforgettable events, you can sign up to be a volunteer. No experience is necessary, you just need to be over 18, energetic and enjoy meeting and helping others. Volunteering can include a range of tasks including meeting and greeting artists, helping guide audiences at events and providing information at our information points.

You can register with The Arches Festivals at severnarts.org.uk/volunteer. Follow @archesfests on social media or visit thearchesworcesterfestivals.co.uk for up-to-date information about upcoming festivals and opportunities to take part.