LOVE SLOUGH FESTIVAL

A celebration of all that there is to love about Slough and its communities.

LOVE Slough was an ambitious project designed with the community for the community, and featuring a diverse range of artforms – knitting, drumming, spoken word, dancing and so much more.

It started on 8 March 2022, ran for 3 weeks and was made up of over 20 different events.

We developed Four Ways to LOVE Slough a our guide to seeing as many events as possible.

Below are details of the events that made up the Festival.

Happy Space

Sunday 20th March saw us celebrating International Day of Happiness with HAPPY SPACE – Slough’s Feel-Good Festival.

Over 400 people came to spread some happiness through crafty activities, workshops, VR experience, graffiti work and laughing yoga.

Led by Slough Happiness Collective.

The Dance WE Made

Featuring four dancers and 30 Slough choreographers (members of the public!), Casson & Friends hit Slough High Street. Using suggestions from the public, they create a unique dance that reflects the people of Slough. This was performed on the High Street on a beautifully sunny day during the LOVE Slough Festival.

Following a provocation from our Community Programming Group, we worked with Casson & Friends to integrate dancers from Creative Academy into the dance work. Two Slough-based trainee dancers joined with two professional dancers to interact, choreograph and perform the work.

Love Slough Fine Arts Festival

The Fine Art Festival celebrated Slough’s creative, comunity and beauty through art.

The art contest asked artists to responded to theme of “Love Slough”. And there were live events, an art exhibiiton and  art auction.

The events were run by the Slough Hub and hosted by 99worldartists.com.

Grove Park Camp (1946-57): Polish stories of resettlement in Slough

This exhibition told the poignant story of Grove Park Camp, one of hundreds of resettlement camps set up throughout the UK after the Second World War to accommodate displaced Polish soldiers and their families.

Curator Maria Creech, along with members of Polish folk group Młody Las/Lesna Polana, launched the exhibition with speeches and traditional singing. The launch event reunited former residents of the Camp.

Organised by Maria Creech, Frania Creech and former Grove Park residents.

Hi-Vis

Award-winning theatre company Milk Presents brought their participatory sound installation Hi-Vis to Queensmere Shopping Centre.

Working with our Community Programming Group, the company created declarations of love that could be heard through the sound installation.

Pioneering Town Micro-Festival

We produced the Pioneering Town micro-festival, a series of events exploring how Slough has been a place of innovation and invention.

This included:

  • LEGO bringing their Build The Change event to The Curve to fired our imaginations.
  • We Are Astronomers astounding us with a pop-up planetarium featuring David Tennant.
  • Events at the Horlicks Quarter and Britwell Youth Centre offered people other opportunities to explore Slough’s many other connections to innovation.

HERSCHEL REMIXED

To celebrate William Herschel’s 2022 bicentenary year, The Dionysus Ensemble recorded previously unrecorded music by Sir William Herschel.

Listen to a track below – and all the pieces are available via most popular streaming services.

The Ensemble then worked with local schools (through Slough Music Service) to create new songs inspired by Sir William’s music.

Through our call out to local artists, Rob Harris and Stephen Ambrose (Stevoss) produced their own interpretations that were performed at our Herschel Remixed live event.

Dhol Drumming Extravaganza

Dhol Collective are a Slough based team of pro Dhol players who specialize in Folk’n’Fusion performances designed to get everyone dancing.

They created a new drum piece and invited five people to join them in the performance of a call and response piece – as well as appearing at LOVE SLOUGH LOVE MUSIC.

The project was a collaboration between Slough Music Service, Dhol Collective and HOME Slough.

Made in Slough

A series of short videos featuring Slough and its spirit of unity in diversity.

Created as part of the LOVE Slough Festival, these  show Slough’s history and contribution to the world. They include the most sought-after food joints, leisure and health, places of faith and worship, education centres, businesses and, most importantly, the people of Slough.

Organised by Sabrang International.

Colnbrook Reimagined

A site-specific animated artwork created with local residents in Colnbrook and projected onto Colnbrook Museum.

Local residents and artist William Lindley reimagined Colnbrook past and present. Rooted in drawing, the film incorporated both William’s and local residents’ studies and responses to the village.

Lead Artist was William Lindley

Girls Record Lounge presents International Women’s Day

Celebrating International Women’s Day with an event full of music, words, art and workshops.

GRL hosted an exhibition of local female artists from the Music and Words community, as well as Beat Routes. There was space for everyone to try some activities on the night – creative art, an open mic slot for spoken word and singers, DJ workshops and a workshop on how to start podcasting.

Plus a networking Business Pod where local female business owners, entrepreneurs and start-ups showcased their work.

Presented by Girls Record Lounge – catch them every Sunday morning on Release Radio.

Knit Your Socks Off

Knit Your Socks Off stitched together three different threads of work:

  • The Knitted Installation: Made up of knitted and crochet items all with the theme of Love.
  • Crochet Love: Crochet and knitted items together with a message of love and hope handed out at LOVE Slough events.
  • Post Box Toppers: Made for post boxes throughout Slough, each with a theme of love and happiness.

Organised by Sbba Siddique and Knit Your Socks Off.

Slough Mini Mela

A mini music festival including a live performance of Sangeet Yatra and free workshops.

Slough’s Mini Mela saw three sold out workshops exploring Bollywood dancing, Tabla drumming and Indian vocal work, before an evening performance with celebrated musicians.

Raising the roof of The Curve’s venue and bringing a mix of traditional Indian music and contemporary interpretations, Slough Mini Mela was joyous for all involved.

Presented by Aradhana Arts, led by Jaymini Sahai.

Movable Art Murals

Five giant moveable murals based on the theme of #LOVE Slough were created by families.

The artistic pieces will reflect the community’s love for the town and it will articulate why Slough so special.

They were displayed in the Queensmere Shopping Centre, and it is hoped that the murals will become a permanent feature of the Borough that the community can engage, connect and identify with.

Presented by Antz Kidz Actvity Centre and supported by London Slough Run, GoodGym Slough and Slough Happiness Collective.

Slough of despond-not!

A theatre piece developed through improvisation and workshopping that explored key moments in Slough’s history and present.

Winging It Collective and Seamus Allen presented a one hour family-friendly show packed with thrills, spills, plenty of audience participation and lots of questions.

Why is Slough in deadly danger? Can our intrepid heroes overcome the dastardly plot planned by the Master and his followers? Will Mrs Briggs the Langley poultergeist and Flying Hawkes, master of disguise free Station Jim, be trapped for 100 years at Slough Station? Will Charles Dickens and William Herschel join the gang?

LOVE SLOUGH LOVE MUSIC

A seven hour indoor day time music festival featuring Slough-based DJ’s, musicians and performers.

This kicked off the first weekend of the Festival and had everything from Polish hip-hop to Dhol drummers to beautiful singer-songwriters.

We were joined by The Mayor of Slough, Councillor Mohammed Nazir who attended a number of performances across the Saturday to celebrate the Festival, meeting the artists and audiences alike.

Platform Performances / Slough Renga

Two performances at the train station brightened up commuters journeys, with Herschel Stars Choir and Innerverse creating new site-specific work especially for the Festival.

Platform Performances was based around Slough’s very own Station Jim, with Herschel Stars Choir collecting stories from the Station and using them to create a new song.

Alongside this was a performance of Slough Renga, a poem about the town written collaboratively by ten local poets and spoken word artists. Renga – meaning linked verse – is a 700-year-old Japanese poetic form of collaborative poetry in which alternating stanzas are linked in succession by multiple writers. Presented by Anna Jones and Pete Cox.

Kecak – Stories from the Ramayana

Upton Lea Community Centre saw 20+ performers dancing the Monkey Dance from the island of Bali in Indonesia. An amazing experience for everyone who took part!

Presented by Alexandra Andrei and Thomas Nolan in collaboration with Kecak Shanti Bang Petak.

Collaborative Art Project for Families

An art project designed for families to build community and togetherness!

Inclusive workshops brought people together to make art around the theme of LOVE Slough.

Presented by Art Classes Group – led by Marinela Caldarus.

Step Up, Paste Up

Slough Youth Parliament, in collaboration with the artist The Fandangoe Kid, produced three artworks that shone a light on local young people doing great work for their communities.

These are a call to action, encouraging people to make a change, however big or small, to improve the place they live.

These young role models – Vaania Faisal, Hemani Sandal and Arjan Dhother – were interviewed about what they love about Slough, the work they are involved with,and why they think others should step up and get more involved in their communities.

“LOVE Slough is a real celebration of the town.”

Jake Orr, Creative Producer, HOME Slough