Barbican opens its doors to art enthusiasts with a day of free events surrounded by all creative disciplines. From art installations, live music, dance to spoken word, you can pick from the rich list of the activities that have been planned for the 8th of October.

Barbican OpenFest 2016 - Grace Savaage
Grace Savage, one of OpenFest performers

From 10am to 7pm, the visitors will be able to watch local artists: there will be a chance pick between dance, music or spoken word performances, watching art installations or catching films, or browsing the stalls filled with handmade, original items from artists coming from Walthamstow community. Pop-up performances, including social drumming group Drumworks, will adorn unexpected places across the whole centre; but there are also some names that have been revealed. Barbican Young Poets will recite their best works. We’ll be also able to watch Aisling Fahey, Young Poet Laureate for London 2014 – 2015, performing. Besides animations and a line-up for children, the film fans will be able to catch a glimpse of short films from promising young filmmakers from Barking and Waltham Forest.

OpenFest will also showcase a selection of art installations. The most interesting picks include Rosalin Fowler’s Nowhere Somewhere – a film display powered by energy from a bicycle that aims to bring the visitor’s attention to the importance of being green. For the first time, non zero one launches let’s take a walk?, their interactive audio experience controlled by the audience. Bedwyr Williams will encourage people to listen on secret conversations in I hope this finds you well, an audio piece played in the foyer – and will try to confuse the viewer in The Gulch, a theatrical installation.

In the evening, Just Jam will take over the Clubstage. Grace Savage, two times UK Beatbox Champion, will warm the audience up before. Among the evening performers, we’ll also see Michael Clark Company and the circus troupe The Machine.

Throughout the afternoon, the audience will also be encouraged to participate in creative workshops. On the Clubstage, Barbican Artistic Associates Michael Clark Company and Boy Blue Entertainment will show a few dance moves to the beginners and dance fanatics alike. Studio 3 Arts, based in Barking, will also be teaching how to dance throughout the day – and the American dance crew The Era will introduce footwork – the dance that originated in Chicago – before they join Just Jam in the evening to perform. Eddie Blake, an architect, will give Rubble Drawing Classes – and on the Lakeside you’ll be able to see the how the bread is made and knead it on your own while listening to the stories of The Land Rays.


Barbican Centre, Saturday 8 October 2016, 10am – 7pm. All events are free (except evening events from 7pm onwards)   


Kasia Kwasniewska

Editor in Chief

Loves reading, watching films, eyeing (and producing) good design, listening to music and stuffing her face with chocolate whenever the opportunity arises. Cooks from time to time, and drinks far too much coffee to be a normal human being. Liked my work? Buy me a coffee!

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