BRAND NEW and FREE Around the Lake Festival comes to Crawley's Tilgate Park, 13-14 July

Crawley’s Creative Playground brings the inaugural FREE Around the Lake Festival to Tilgate Park from Saturday 13 - Sunday 14 July 2024.

Following the unveiling of Crawley’s Creative Playground’s brand-new town-wide murals, Creative Crawley brings the inaugural Around the Lake Festival in Tilgate Park from 13 - 14 July 2024.

Crawley’s Creative Playground brings the inaugural Around the Lake Festival to Tilgate Park from Saturday 13 - Sunday 14 July 2024. Residents of Crawley and anyone from further afield are invited to experience Tilgate Park in a whole new way with a lineup packed full of live performances, art installations, drop-in-art and more. Visitors to the festival can experience stories on rowing boats, circus in the forest, a new peacock puppet, a special bee colony especially for Crawley, poetry trails, foraging workshops and more. The festival is FREE to attend and fun for all the family.

Around the Lake Festival will feature Luke Jerram’s Crossings, Mimbre’s Weight(Less), and a range of Without Walls outdoor performances and creative workshops to explore Tilgate Park in a whole new way.

Crossings is a new sound installation artwork created by world renowned artist Luke Jerram in collaboration with BBC Radio 4 producer Julian May. Free to experience, audience members are invited to board a rowboat and row out across beautiful Tilgate Lake while listening to eleven audio stories about boats, birds, sounds, the sweet potato, plastic, and especially, people.

Crossings creator, Luke Jerram commented: “I am delighted to bring Crossings to Crawley’s Around The Lake festival and for audiences to experience this artwork on Tilgate Lake - completely for free! To truly celebrate Crawley, a new local story will be added to the audio, marking a moment for this town and community. Reserve your slot online, come on down and listen to our stories.” 

Weight(Less) by Mimbre is a joyful escape from the chaos of everyday life, celebrating the courage it takes to keep on going when times are tough. Blending acrobatics, movement and humour, the show dismantles big problems into moments of laughter and celebrates hope. Mimbre returns to Crawley after a successful performance in Broadfield Barton Shopping Parade, Broadfield as part of Broadfield Arts Festival in 2023. 

With six different performances to see and five creative ways to take part; Around The Lake will encourage visitors to explore and celebrate the green spaces of Tilgate Park through seeing, tasting and hearing the park in a whole new way.

Creative Playground is part of the Without Walls network, which brings the best in outdoor arts to towns across England. We are pleased to be programming 5 shows from their programme, as part of Around The Lake Festival and Saturday Sessions.

As well as the Around the Lake Festival in July, Creative Crawley is continuing to bring creative opportunities to Crawley residents in different neighbourhoods throughout the Summer from public art to events in the two libraries, Crawley folk can find arts and culture on their doorstep throughout the town. 

Commissioned by Crawley’s Creative Playground as part of its Summer Season, Crawley’s brand-new murals were officially launched on 9 May and are now available across the town for all to enjoy, with a further mural from artist Jac Seifert, who spent her school years in Crawley, to be launched later this summer in Manor Royal in partnership with the Manor Royal Business Improvement District (BID).

Councillor Sue Mullins, Cabinet Member for Public Engagement and Culture at Crawley Borough Council, said: “It’s wonderful to see our town brought to life with these six public murals. We have a fantastic arts and culture offering in Crawley and we hope these murals inspire people from across the community to get involved.”

The Book of Crawley: a guidebook to the town created by local school children in collaboration with artists Andy Field and Becky Darlington. Launched on 24 April at the Town Hall, the book is part fictional imagining, part actual guidebook, and is an opportunity for adults to see and experience Crawley through the eyes of some of its youngest inhabitants. The Book is available to collect for FREE from a range of locations across Crawley - including Crawley Library, Town Hall, and Museum - for the duration of  the Summer Season.  

The programme also includes an offer for local primary schools, bringing Ancient Giants by Inspirate in partnership with Brighton Festival and The Playground Tour from The Place, London which includes Olive Branch… Playground Edition by Vanhulle Dance Theatre and Mughal Miniatures: The Elephant and The Drummer by Sonia Sabri Company.

Invite Us.. will continue to see the Creative Playground team visit local organisations within Crawley to join existing community events including CCA’s Volunteer Day on 2 June and Crawley Pride on 17 August, while Come With Us provides entirely funded trips for Crawley people  to attend arts events in London and Brighton - from exhibitions to theatre shows - and discuss what they have seen, breaking down barriers of who has a right to see and talk about art. 

In addition to Creative Playground, Creative Crawley runs The Creative Village, which includes a skills exchange programme currently offering 10 paid places to West Sussex and Surrey based people aged 16 - 30 who want to get involved in the creative industries. Applications are open until 13 June.

Around the Lake Festival is supported by Arts Council England and Crawley Borough Council. Crossings by Luke Jerram was originally commissioned by Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park.

The #CrawleyMurals are supported by Arts Council England, Crawley Borough Council, Crawley Town Centre BID and Manor Royal BID.

Around the Lake Festival 

Saturday 13 July - Sunday 14 July, 1 - 5pm (Crossings running until Wednesday 17 July)


Live Performances/Installations

  • Crossings by Luke Jerram: Saturday 13 - Wednesday 17 July (45 mins)

  • Bonded by Alleyne Dance (Without Walls): Saturday 13 July (30 mins)

  • Bees: The Colony by Artizani (Without Walls): Saturday 13 - Sunday 14 July

  • Teabreak by Trigger (Without Walls): Sunday 14 July (30 mins)

  • Mughal Miniatures Walkabout by Sonia Sabri Company (Without Walls): Saturday - Sunday (30 mins)

  • Weight(Less) by Mimbre: Sunday 14 July (30 mins)

Take Part Activity

  • Art Workshops with Snooze Fabric: Saturday 13 - Sunday 14 July

  • Foraging Walk with Rights for Weeds: Sunday 14 July

  • Spoken Word & Poetry Workshops with Woodzy: Saturday 13 July

  • Self-led Poetry Trail from Crawley Writers Circle: Saturday 13 - Sunday 14 July

  • Self-led Crawley Stories Podcast by Theatre Centre, Creative Crawley & Creative Playground: Saturday 13 - Sunday 14 July

Header Image Credit: Lead Images Tile_Credits clockwise from T-L Rachel Hardwick, Irina Mackie, Artizani, Jane Hobson, Compton Verney, Rosie Powell


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