Brighton Festival has today announced the theme for next year’s Children’s Parade, which marks the beginning of the city-wide festival. This year, the theme of ‘folk tales’ will see children from across the city fill the streets with different ancient tales, chosen to reflect the diversity of different artists taking part in the festival.
The selected folk tales will be allocated to schools across the region, who will all incorporate their given folk tale into teaching. Teachers will help their students to study the stories, before they bring them to life through costumes, music and carnival structures at the annual parade, which will take place on Saturday 4th May 2019.
Jointly produced with award-winning community arts organisation Same Sky, who spend months working behind the scenes, and kindly sponsored by the University of Brighton, the parade can proudly say that it is the largest of it’s kind in Europe. Having run for nearly 30 years with over 5,000 school children and community groups taking part, the parade has delighted huge crowds with themes that have seen participants dress up as paintings, letters of the alphabet and woodland creatures.
With a different theme selected each year to connect with the festival’s guest directors, ‘folk tales’ strongly resonates with this years director, musician Rokia Traoré, whose work is rooted in Malian musical tradition. Traoré will take the lead of the of the parade, alongside the students from schools selected to study folk tales originating in West Africa. As part of the festival’s extensive 2019 schedule, Traoré will present the UK premiere of Dream Mandé Djata, a musical monologue based on West African oral history storytelling.
Pippa Smith, who is Brighton Festival’s Children and Family programmer has commented on the exciting announcement:
“Folk tales are typically stories that are passed down from generation to generation and are often linked to childhood memories, when parents or grandparents would tell them at bedtime.”
There are so many fascinating folk tales to explore, from the Anansi tales of West Africa to European tales by Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. We can’t wait to see the wildly imaginative creations that participating schools and community groups will present.”
Brighton Festival will take place from 4 – 26 May 2019, with the full programme being announced early 2019. The festival will feature an extended Children and Young People’s programme with a huge amount of participatory activities taking place in the run-up.
Featured image by Vic Frankowski.