Explosion of town’s creativity

Torchlight procession in New Mills
Torchlight procession in New Mills

PREPARE for an explosion of community creativity that is the New Mills Festival, which runs from Friday September 14 to Sunday September 30.

The two-week festival features everything from music, magic and poetry to exhibitions, arts events, open days, talks, walks, sports and much more - all culminating with the popular lantern procession through the Torrs on Saturday September 29.

As well as hosting lantern-making workshops, Torr Vale Mill will be one of 40 participating venues in the New Mills Art Trail, featuring work by a range of talented artists.

The mill will host ‘Structure’, an exhibition by contemporary sculptor and painter Jason Simpson, whose powerful work will vie for attention with the mill’s own dramatic space.

Returning for another year is the do-it-yourself science experiments with Ian Russell and Exploding Custard, Swedish duo Rita Saxmark and Sabina Agnes at the United Reform Church, comedy nights at Chalkers and St George’s, and the Odd Objects Competition.

Becoming firm favourites are Fungi Foray with the sassy Swede Bengt Saxmark who really knows his mushrooms, and Gypsy Jazz at the Art Lounge where local artist Clare Allen will also have a solo exhibition of her work.

Commissioned especially for the festival is Junkstop!, a creative recycling project through which New Mills-based designer Jason Taylor and seven local artists have been encouraging people to use waste materials to make playful, funky and sometimes beautiful objects.

Musical events include the “Elbow for seafarers and ramblers” Harp and a Monkey at Spring Bank Arts Centre, and the blues band The Groovediggers who are headlining on Band Night at the Town Hall.

But if music feeds the soul we haven’t forgotten our other appetites and Gio Mia offers South African food on September 21 and September 28.

And don’t forget the Co-operative wine-tasting evening at Spring Bank Arts Centre on September 26.

Last but not least ‘Past Lives’ comes to New Mills Town Hall on Saturday September 15. This is a live musical cinematic experience featuring previously unseen amateur footage of Midlands life from the 1930s to the 1970s set to an atmospheric soundtrack performed live by Cipher and musicians from Sinfonia Viva. This is a one-night only special addition to Cipher’s summer tour.

For more information on these and other festival events, or to buy tickets, visit www.newmillsfestival.com.