Global Grooves is once again flying high after a catastrophic mill fire destroyed 15 years worth of work.
We lost hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of giant puppets and handprinted costumes when our storage warehouse at Ray Mill in Stalybridge burned to ground in March.
But with support from Arts Council England and over £8,000 raised through a crowd funder, partners and private donations, we are back and stronger than ever.
A 60-strong team has worked round the clock to create a number of large scale key pieces.
New giant puppets created by our artists, makers and volunteers, some reaching up to 5m high, include Tony the fire breathing bat, Oxumare, a Brazilian deity, Kantaben, an Indian roller bird, a herd of elephants on stilts, Valerie the valkyrie, I.O.L.A.2.0 the robot and Phil the phoenix.
Over three months, we put in almost 27,000 hours of work between us in order to meet the commitments we had made to a number of summer festivals, including Kendal Calling, Manchester Mega Mela, Manchester Diwali Mela and Carfests North and South.
Rather than recreating old works, we have started afresh and already have a madcap roster of fabulous creations. Everyone has pulled together in the most amazing way to achieve the impossible.
Crowds attending the Blue Dot Festival at Jodrell Bank in July were amongst the first to meet the raucous menagerie of puppets and costumed-characters, which was accompanied by an illuminated cabal of cyborg percussionists.
Later this year, we will present new creations at Chester Zoo’s annual Christmas spectacular The Lanterns, Tameside’s Christmas lights switch on in Denton and Oldham Illuminate. Their November celebration Mossley Light Festival will be back in 2019.