Thousands of people joined in the fun of Big Splash 2017, dodging the showers with us to be entertained by over twenty top-class performing companies from across the UK and beyond, who brought over fifty free street theatre shows to the city centre. Saturday 22 July and Sunday 23 July saw the city centre transformed into one large outdoor stage, with loud, surprising, intriguing and wonderful live music and pop-up street theatre.
We have estimated over 10,000 people experienced some part of the festival during the two days. Most saw one of our many top-class performers, including Newport’s own Mr & Mrs Clark who took to the streets Electioneering, and Tin Shed Theatre who made it possible for festival goers to meet a real-life Yeti! The other highlights of the festival included Mr and Mr Burn, who one customer described as “Just witnessed a man in pants pass Tequila around and set fire to his stage. It was mad. Brilliant but mad!”. The Urban Astronaut by Highly Sprung also got people talking, as they took the audience on an adventure that was out of this world!
All in all, our motto for the weekend was ‘come rain or shine, the Big Splash will still entertain!’ and boy, did it! The staff and volunteers worked hard to adapt to the changing weather conditions to provide a top-quality experience for all. Zoe Hopkinson on Facebook commented, ‘We really enjoyed yesterday. There’s enough going on to keep you busy all day without being chaotic. It’s a real family day out with fun for the adults too.”
Gillian Mitchell, Head of Theatre, Arts & Culture for Newport Live said: “Once again thousands of people joined us in sampling a weather-busting weekend of outdoor arts in the heart of Newport. We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who came along to support the Big Splash festival, to our staff and volunteers and above all to our main funder Arts Council Wales and to our sponsors whose support enabled us to offer hundreds of top-quality events, all for free. Newport Live and The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre are proud to bring the best street theatre from around the world to the city each year, making sure that families here don’t miss out on the mad and unmissable fun on offer, without having to pay a penny!”
The Big Splash team would like to thank our funders Newport Live and the Arts Council of Wales and sponsors Friars Walk, Kingsway Centre, Newport NOW and Western Power Distribution for making it happen.
Photographs and videos that were taken throughout the weekend, are all on our Facebook page at facebook.com/bigsplashnewport or Instagram @Riverfrontarts