Our inaugural Family Festival was held over the weekend of 11th and 12th June at Rodgers Farm. The sun shone, families came and picnicked on the lawn, and enjoyed a feast of dance, music, puppetry, nature, arts, crafts, and toys. We had over 500 happy people through the gates over the weekend.
The line-up included mask-making in the Art tent courtesy of ArtyFarty Malarky, and music curated by SoundsCreative featuring a collection of performances and collaborations from renowned artists from the world of global folk and jazz – cellist Tara Franks, violinists Preetha Narayanan and Alice Zawadski, and Palestinian oud virtuoso and singer Saied Silbak. For the little ones and their adults there was a Tots Tunes workshop in the theatre.
Sophie and Marie Nüzel performed The Greenhouse – a magical outdoor performance about the senses of plants. Using dance, spoken word, music, and installation, two performers introduced basic plant biology – exploring some of the wonderful things that plants can do. Young audience members even got their own plant to take home with them!
We were delighted to welcome Hastings theatre company theatrerotto and their shadow-puppet show and workshop, the setting of which was on a volcano island.
Pete the Pond (and his trusty assistant Lottie the parrot) proved to be a massive hit with children, showcasing a wildlife display of creatures who inhabit the pond at Rodgers farm.
On Saturday we were honoured to have acclaimed street artist Dale Grimshaw paint a giant mural inspired by our collection.
Guests were able to explore our museum collection of period toys, puppets and model theatre sets dating back to 18th century at leisure.
The weather couldn’t have been better, and the feedback from guests was wonderful:
“Today really has been such a happy day for my children and me. The setting and atmosphere in the garden at the festival was idyllic. The pace was perfect as was the amount and quality of things to do. The museum and facilities really are beautiful and all the staff/volunteers were incredibly welcoming and professional. I came away feeling very fortunate and overwhelmed…”.