Four days of free entertainment this August Bank Holiday will celebrate the arts across the city of Salisbury and launch Wiltshire Creative’s first season of programming.

With live music and fireworks, street theatre and circus, family fun and arts activities, the Lift Off! Weekend runs from Friday 24 to Monday 27 August at Salisbury Arts Centre, Salisbury Playhouse and in the city’s streets. There will be free theatre in and around Salisbury Playhouse, a Family Fiesta at Salisbury Arts Centre and a visual arts trail between the two venues.

Kicking off the weekend will be Picnic in the Close with live music in the Cathedral Close from 7pm on Friday 24 August. Music will come from local bands The Deloreons and Just Us. At the end of the evening fireworks will herald the opening of the Lift Off! Weekend in spectacular style in the Close.

On Saturday and Sunday 25 and 26 August there will be theatre performances of classic fairy tales at Salisbury Playhouse performed by community groups including Stage 65 Youth Theatre, Jigsaw Dance Company, Mind the Gap, Dance Six-0 and Zone Arts. On the same two days a Family Fiesta will run at Salisbury Arts Centre featuring a variety of arts and craft activities for all the family to get involved with.

On Sunday and Monday 26 and 27 August, there will be street theatre from Without Walls at various locations in the city centre including the Guildhall Square, Old George Mall and the Maltings. Street theatre will come from Candoco Dance Company, Max Calaf Sevé, Ockham’s Razor, A Bird in the Hand Theatre, Rosie Kay Dance Company and Travelling Light Circus.

Also on Sunday and Monday, Tangled Feet will perform Boots on the Ground, an interactive theatre piece commemorating 100 years since the WWI armistice, in the Guildhall Square.

There will be live music at Salisbury Arts Centre and jazz at Salisbury Playhouse on Monday 27 August. An Arts Quest will be in place all weekend, running between Salisbury Arts Centre and Salisbury Playhouse. As part of the Quest, on Saturday and Sunday, original Harry Potter book illustrator Cliff Wright will hold a free workshop at Salisbury Library and, on Saturday, local artist Sarah Walters will show people how to make felt. An archive exhibition celebrating the arts in Salisbury and drawing on the histories of the Arts Centre, Salisbury International Arts Festival and Playhouse will run all weekend at Salisbury Arts Centre. Come along and add your memories!

The weekend also includes a ticketed opera, PUSH, performed by the Salisbury Festival Chorus and La Folia Orchestra at St Thomas’s Church on Saturday 25 August. Tickets cost £20 and can be booked at or by calling 01722 320333.

Wiltshire Creative Artistic Director Gareth Machin said: “Lift Off! will be a free party for the whole city, a celebration of this creative city and the new organisation as we open the doors for our first season of work. We hope as many people as possible will come into the city and join us for a spectacular weekend.”

Full details of the activities and events will be available on from early August or pick up a leaflet from early August around the city.

The Lift Off! weekend is supported by Arts Council England, Wiltshire Council, Salisbury City Council, Salisbury BID, Salisbury Cathedral, Fletcher & Partners, Raring2Go, Wiltshire Recovery Co-ordinating Group and Without Walls, the UK’s largest commissioner of outdoor art. A founding sponsor of Wiltshire Creative is Smith & Williamson.







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