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Human towers rise as the Castellers de Vilafranca perform at Salisbury International Arts Festival

4 Jun

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Human towers rose up in front of England’s tallest spire at the weekend, as the daredevil Castellers de Vilafranca wowed crowds at the Salisbury International Arts Festival.

In one of those quirky traditions that goes back 300 years, the performers climbed onto the shoulders of the stronger members to build towers stacked six-people high, with the smallest, lightest Castellers – the youngest was just six years old – balancing what we estimate to be a vertigo-inducing 30 feet above the crowds. Continue reading

Fire Garden at Stonehenge – once in a lifetime event

11 Jul

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No other word for it.

Except maybe: amazing. Incredible. A one off. Fantastic.

I’m talking about Fire Garden at Stonehenge last night.

Not only was a huge amount of people old and young allowed to walk in amongst the stones – a rare experience in itself – but the Fire Garden was breathtaking. Continue reading

Alton Barnes White Horse illuminated for Salisbury Festival

2 Jul

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It was, commented our friends from the city, like a scene from The Wicker Man: country folk in a midsummer’s torchlit procession through the middle of nowhere to the sounds of drums and horns to set a horse on fire.

Braving wind and heavy rain, around 100 spectators trudged the mile from the village of Alton Barnes to the foot of Mark Hill – the joint-highest hill in Wiltshire at 294m – where one of the county’s eight surviving landmark White Horses has galloped in chalk for 200 years.

As darkness fell we stood, shivered and prayed to the gods, old and new, for a break in the weather while the 50-metre-long horse was illuminated: first its body in swirling patterns of brilliant white lights, and then its outline in the warm glow of yellow flame. Continue reading

God Spray the Queen – Chivitz at Salisbury International Art Festival

30 May

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I’ll bet when the Queen visited Salisbury back on May 1 (International Workers’ Day, not that the UK ever recognises it) she never thought her jaunt would be immortalised in graffiti art.

But that’s exactly what happened at the weekend, when Brazilian street artist Chivitz created new works at Salisbury Arts Centre as part of the Salisbury International Arts Festival.

The Queen, who is quite used to having portraits done, although probably never like this, is pictured in the outfit she wore when she visited the city, although the cheeky graffiti artist has her brandishing a spray can. Continue reading

Salisbury Festival Family Fun Day at Danebury Hill Fort

27 May

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We rocked up to Hampshire’s Danebury Hill Fort, just across the county border, with the lure of an AfroReggae Family Fun Day.

Fun. For kids. An ancient hill fort. Summer sunshine music. Sounded great. Continue reading