Hijinx’s annual five-day international Unity Festival will take place for the first time in Caernarfon, North Wales, from 28 June – 2 July 2017. Spectacular circus, theatre, dance and music acts will fill Caernarfon Castle, Victoria Dock, the Town Square and Galeri Arts Centre for this year’s Hijinx Unity Festival, which celebrates the best inclusive and disability arts from around the world.
Caernarfon will have a truly international feel this summer as performers arrive from France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Ethiopia, as well as from across the UK and Wales. All of the companies performing at Hijinx Unity Festival include artists who have physical or learning disabilities. The Festival was created by Welsh theatre company, Hijinx, to give a high profile platform to stunning work made by disabled and non-disabled artists working together as equals.
Full programme details will be unveiled at a special launch event in Caernarfon this May, however highlights of the Festival will include: a weekend of free performances around the town centre ideal for families; a Schools’ Day for 500 local pupils, a Community Dance Gala and jaw-dropping flamenco and physical theatre acts at Galeri.
14 learning disabled actors from Hijinx’s performance training academy based at Prestatyn will be at the centre of a number of performances, produced by Hijinx in collaboration with other Welsh and UK-based companies.
Ben Pettitt-Wade, Hijinx’s Artistic Director, commented: “We are thrilled to be taking the Festival to Caernarfon this summer. The overwhelmingly positive reaction of the public, local community groups and schools to the Festival over the past nine years in Cardiff has been an inspiration and a catalyst for moving it north. We can’t wait to introduce the work of outstanding disabled performers to audiences in North Wales, and above all, provoke thought and discussion about the ability and potential of people who live with a disability.”
The award winning creative enterprise centre, Galeri in Caernarfon is the official venue partner of the Festival. Mari Emlyn, Artistic Director at Galeri, commented: “Galeri is delighted to be welcoming Unity Festival, one of Europe’s largest inclusive festivals, and the only one of its kind in Wales – to Caernarfon! What a great opportunity to promote positive images of disability, whilst encouraging inclusivity within the arts, bringing international innovative artistic events to Galeri and the streets of Caernarfon!”
The hugely popular Schools’ Day returns to Hijinx Unity Festival this year on Friday 30 June. 500 pupils from Key Stages 2 and 3 will have the chance to enjoy a packed day of inclusive theatre and dance within Caernarfon Castle. If you are interested in bringing a school group, please contact Jon Dafydd-Kidd on firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Through a high quality programme of performing arts, the Festival promotes positive images of disability and social inclusion to audiences. Since its creation in Cardiff in 2008, it has grown to attract over 20,000 visitors a time from across Wales, the UK and Europe.
Thanks to funding from Welsh Assembly Government’s Major Events Unit, the Arts Council of Wales, Cadw, Caernarfon Town Council and Gwyn & Mary Owen, Unity Festival is able to relocate to North Wales for the first time. The new location opens up opportunities to bring Hijinx’s inclusive ethos to new audiences, school communities and artistic collaborators in North West and North Wales and the North of England.