The show must go on as the Bicester Festival announces a new stage for creativity

The Bicester Festival will go ahead ‘virtually’ this year with a brand new website being launched to showcase local talent and celebrate the arts.

Published: Wednesday, 24th June 2020

Planning for the annual community event is in full swing. Residents will be able to take part in an array of creative activities leading up to the festival, culminating with a programme of online performances and showcases between Friday 18 September and Sunday 20 September.

Organised by a team of volunteers and supported by Cherwell District Council and Bicester Town Council, the Bicester Festival is entering its third year with this year’s theme: “FIRE - keeping the flame alive“.

Cllr Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s lead member for health and wellbeing said; “The arts have played an important role in keeping spirits up during the coronavirus pandemic. Lockdown has seen a surge in people returning to creative pursuits, improving their skills as well as their wellbeing.

“COVID-19 has taught us all the need to be flexible and it’s great to see the Bicester Festival team has met the challenge head-on. Instead of cancelling the event, the organising committee has worked extremely hard to produce an interactive website, enabling residents to celebrate the arts in a safe and accessible way.”

Cllr Richard Mould, Chairman of Policy Committee at Bicester Town Council said: “we are pleased to continue to work with Cherwell District Council and other partners to bring a virtual event to the people of the town. Although it is sad that physical events have been cancelled we are finding new ways to keep events going.”

The Bicester Festival webpages will launch on Friday 18 September to coincide with the first day of the event at www.bicesterfestival.org, with live updates running throughout the weekend. It will continue as a platform for Bicester’s creative community to celebrate and showcase local talent, and keep the creative flame burning throughout the year.
In the months preceding the event, the Bicester Festival Facebook page will be regularly updated, demonstrating ways the community can play a part in the celebrations by getting creative at home.

Emma Doupé runs Evolve Vocal Studio in Bicester and also sits on the festival organising committee. Emma said; “By hosting the festival online, we can hopefully utilise the digital world that we are living in, and connect to many more people, in more ways. We have seen people of all ages embracing technology and learning how to stay connected during COVID-19. By launching this website, we can hopefully show how important the arts are in life, by collaborating and coming together to celebrate the arts and culture of this community.”

Bicester artists are now being invited to get in touch with ideas about how they may be able to use the platform, from live video content to on-line classes for people of all abilities.

Email Bicester.festival@cherwell-dc.gov.uk. for more information.

Follow @BicesterFestival on Facebook and Instagram and @BicesterFest on Twitter for all the latest news, as well as ways to get involved with this year’s event.