The Alternative Village Fete at Festival of Thrift 2015

The Alternative Village Fete at Festival of Thrift 2015

Home Live Art’s Alternative Village Fetes are energetic, celebratory events that appeal to a huge audience range. They are a platform for new work and ideas within the broad theme of ‘the British Fete’ with a participatory and multidisciplinary approach to the programme content that encompasses live and performance installations, live music, communal dance, craft, food and produce.

The Alternative Village Fete context provides the opportunity for contributing artists to test new ideas and work. Artists taking part thiis year include: Plungeboom, Lah-di-dah, Richard DeDomenici, Paul Martin, Ministry of Bicycles, Nicola Read/815 Agency and DJ Neil Massey. Paul Martin will be Fete Compere.


Full programme includes:

Fete Compere/Mc: Paul Martin

One of the most sought-after event comperes with a string of high profile venues and clients (Knebworth, Hampton Court Palace, LOCOG Staff wrap party after the Olympics), Paul has been hosting family community events for over 25 years, most notably as his gregarious, badge-loving Ringmaster character barkering for stall-holders and whipping up the crowd for live entertainers.



Led by three super female instructors, Lah-di-dah is a mass 1920s workout that will have you in tip top shape for summer!  Follow the ladies as their clipped tones guide you through moves including ‘high tea’, ‘the penguin’ and ‘chased by a bee’. Complete the actions in unison with your chums to create a delightful spectacle of health and vitality. Open to all, whatever your level of mobility or ability. We have taken inspiration from post-war outdoors keep fit, flappers, silent movies and Busby Berkeley dance numbers, and lead by the infamous Beaux Belles, this is an interactive number where YOU create the performance! Lah-di-dah has appeared at the Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff; Watch This Space, London and City Steps Festival, Liverpool. Produced by Jen Walke and choreographed by The Beaux Belles.


Bomberdrome – Bicycle Wall of Death by Ministry of Bicycles

The Bomberdrome is the “Granddaddy” of “The Wall of Death” and as such is not of this time, creating at first, confusion, then delight as the wall is addictive in it’s “dizzy”. Built in 2012 from plans adapted by “Whiskey Drunk Cycles” (in America) from a Victorian “Slope Track”, this modern day version is the only example in the UK. Our shows comprise of up to five riders, performing tricks of daring do, individually, in pairs and all at once. Thrills, Spills and plenty of Mild Peril all add up to make this a bicycle spectacular.


Swivelympics from Richard DeDomenici

Welcome to The Swivelympics – your chance to achieve international sporting greatness without standing up.

Team GB excel in the sitting down sports – cycling, rowing, sailing, equestrian – and The Swivelympics is designed to play to this home advantage.

The aim of Swivelympics, other than world peace and human understanding, is to complete the most number of spins in one self-propelled push in a standard office swivel chair.

The International Swivelympic Committee (ISC) are working hard to professionalise the sport in preparation for next year’s Rio Games, optimising performance techniques and equipment, thereby enabling Swivelympians to continue setting new standards without having to resort to doping.

The current world record, set by a man called James at the Boring Conference in 2012, is 30.5 spins.

If you manage to beat that score, you’ll win a gold medal.

Made entirely out of plastic.

Now join with me in the Swivelympics Anthem:

If I get dizzy, fall over, or otherwise injure myself, it’s not the ISC’s fault.


Mehndi – Henna Painting by GemArts

GemArts brings Mehndi, the art of henna painting on the body, to Darlington. This traditional art form has been practiced in parts of India, Africa and the Middle East for centuries. Traditionally dried henna plant leaves were made into a paste to produce a temporary dye used to paint intricate patterns on to the skin, usually hands/arms and feet, on special occasions. GemArts professional Henna artist will use hypoallergic paint to create beautiful designs on visitors’ hands.


Dhol Drummers by GemArts

At the Festival of Thrift 2015, GemArts bring the Dhol, a traditional double barrelled drum widely played throughout the Indian subcontinent, to Darlington. The history of the dhol drum dates back as far as the 15th century, and many regional variations can be found across the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan. The drum is usually played using two wooden sticks made from bamboo or cane. GemArts Dhol drum players, Roc A Beat, will wow crowds with high energy performances from Bhangra to Bollywood, dressed in traditional outfits, throughout the festival.


The Allotment by Plungeboom

The Vegetable Nannies invite you to join them in their Allotment for a bit of gardening and childcare. They love nothing more than proudly showing off their allotment cherubs. Come and get stuck into the daily duties of feeding, bathing and caring for the baby fruits and vegetables. Audiences are encouraged to befriend, feed and comfort all manner of earthen toddlers, such as Beverly the downhill-skiing watermelon, Jessica, the Sweet-Potato beauty queen & David, the talented little Marrow whose ambition is to become a stage actor.


The Lost Property Office by Jane Cuthbert

Two eccentrically dressed characters are flamboyant custodians of the Lost Property Office with its collection of finds : umbrellas, mobile phones, clothes, hats, gloves, scarves, glasses, teeth etc

They invite the public to find items they might have lost and if they find something that is theirs, they are asked and encouraged to create a back-story of how they lost it and how they know it once belonged to them. The only way they can claim an item is to wear it. But they must make adjustments to wear it before it is taken away. The item belongs to the Lost Property Office but if they make a magnificent, and gallant attempt to give it a new lease of life…then the custodians of the Lost Property Office will let them walk away wearing it.


Den City from Nicola Read/815 Agency

Wanted: Junior and Senior den-makers. Join us to build a city of dens inspired by the towering structures of the Russian Constructivists. Over the festival we’ll make a bustling network of dens, using ropes, pegs, fabric and a good imagination. Come and build your own abode, or just spend some time wandering our collective city.
Fun for 3 to 93-year olds. Suitable for all ages, children must be supervised by an adult.


Soul Funk Reggae vinyl DJ: Neil Massey

Expect to hear 60/70s Soul and Funk mixed in with 60s Reggae and Bluebeat, Jazz Funk/fusion, Rare grooves plus a little AfroFunk which is an African twist on 70s American Funk.

We are also including dedicated sets of what has been described as “Northern Soul”.  We hope to provide the soundtrack to what is a great weekend so whether its foot tapping or a good dance please enjoy.

  • When Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th September 2015
  • Time
  • Where Lingfield Point

Back to Top