Siren Festival, 7th-9th August in Aldeburgh Jubilee Hall, and surfacing elsewhere in the town, explores our relationship with the sea and features an ‘undersea experience’ with replica marine creatures, artwork and amazing ocean science, as a backdrop to musicians, movies, performers and prose.
Incredible Oceans, an Aldeburgh-based not-for-profit company that runs festivals and events that combine entertainment, art, science and taking action, are helping to create the festival with Southwold & Aldeburgh Theatre - both organisations offering their time and resources to create a legacy for young people and their future on our coast. Together with a steering committee of community members and local artists and performers we are creating a festival and activities that really entertain plus make a difference.
“The name plays with the lure of siren mermaids, sea creatures and the sea”, says Ian Rowlands, director of Incredible Oceans, “but there’s also a warning and, through performance and science, Siren alerts us to how we are affecting the ocean and how it will affect us.”
Preceding the festival will be ‘Making Space for Siren’; opportunities for community groups to get together to create art, craft, activities and festival content, culminating in free open public workshops at Jubilee Hall on 26th July and 2nd August.
“At Aldeburgh Jubilee Hall, this festival will be an event, by and for the local community, but one that’s exciting for visitors too, using theatre to talk about the sea and our coast”, says Marianne Fellowes of Southwold & Aldeburgh Theatre. “Each day the festival will raise funds for local causes - Alde & Ore Estuary Trust, RNLI and Aldeburgh Cinema - and in the evenings ‘Siren Nights’ will include special ticketed performances.”
It is intended to follow up the festival with ‘Siren Calling’ on 29th Feb-1st March, an Aldeburgh gathering celebrating culture, youth and the future, with local professionals helping to run vital workshops for young people on public presenting, organising, film-making, event planning, music-making and more.
“Young people on our coast will inherit big issues, such as ocean plastics, changing climate and rising seas” says Ian, “and through Siren we want to help them find their own ‘siren’ voice, to speak clearly about their future”.