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Style & Stuff Editorial

fot19.jpg Do you catch my thrift…

The ever-brilliant Festival of Thrift is back in Redcar this September and the award-winning event will be celebrating their 7th year of sustainable living.

It’s not going away is it? I’m talking about the pressing need for each of us to live within our means. The Festival of Thrift has been making this point for seven years now but no-one does it quite so, what’s the word I’m looking for – Magically? Joyously? Funkily? – as they do. And once again they will be taking over the village of Kirkleatham in Redcar and transforming it into a packed celebration of sustainable living. Of course, they love a theme, and this year they’re going big on celebrating clean air, as well as the moon landings, so you can expect new journeys of discovery, thought-provoking performances, and their very special mix of hands-on fun, food, music, dance and song. There will also be over 160 stalls selling all manner of thrifty, upcycled and recycled goods. 

As ever, things will kick off with the Thrifty Parade (Friday 13 September, from 6.30pm), which is setting off from Kirkleatham Museum with a cohort of bikes. They will make their way to Redcar town centre where they will meet the procession including professional performers and musicians, weird and wonderful costumes and bags of energy. The festival itself will take place on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September and will be divided into three zones, each of which will be bursting with good stuff to see and do.

The Pink Zone 

Mission Out Of Control is an interactive re-imagining of the moon landing. Whippet Up’s vision will bring the excitement and optimism of space travel in the 1960s to the festival. Central to the activity will be Mission (out of) Control – where space attire will be created, astronauts will be trained and a four-stage rocket will be built. Phoenix Voices and Mouthful will create the vocal soundtrack. One of the most popular bits of the festival is always The Town Is The Menu and 2019’s event has been inspired by Guisborough in its 900thanniversary year. Pull up a chair at their 36 metre long communal table for an unforgettable three-course vegetarian lunch under a big sky, with spirit lifting live music. If you’d like to try something perhaps a tad more energetic then get down to the space themed Club Groovy, which will be full of fun, props and pizazz (and if you’d like to have a go at clogging, then Tin Arts are showcasing this traditional dance with some have-a-go sessions for all the family). Zoo Humans sees the Urban Playground team bring their distinctive performance-parkour, as well as Richard Attenborough’s narrative, to a group of humans on the verge of forgetting how to move. The Whalley Range All Stars will be on hand with The Best Of All Possible Worlds, which tells the story of a trio of innocents who are continuously buffeted by fate. The Pavilion is where you find the Little Inventors who are launching their new Pioneers programme and Energy Challenge. In this workshop create your own invention ideas that help generate, save or use energy better. The incredible Bird In The Hand Theatre return with their Bewonderment Machine, which is a visually stunning, cycle-powered carousel that will create a magical journey for very small children. The Space Rebel Princess will also be around, dreaming of becoming an astronaut, but she needs your help to decipher alien messages, assemble a giant rocket and float in zero-gravity. Always a big draw are the Junkyard Orchestra who bring together music, storytelling, instrument building and environmental issues.

 The Blue Zone

Back by popular demand this year is Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, a band of revolutionary genre-bashers who knock traditional Second Lining (a quintessential New Orleans art form) sideways. Think: hot-stepping in uniforms, twirling parasols and 1990s club classics. The heritage Craft Area is where you will find plenty of workshops including spoon carving, metalwork and wet moulding leather (book these in advance from their website). The Bee Cart is where you need to head to explore all things bees and pollination (including the chance to learn the waggle dance). 

 The Yellow Zone

One of the biggest draws at the festival each year is the sustainable fashion show Oxglam, and once again it will be back with vintage, second hand and upcycled clothing. The Toasting Stage will feature their biggest stage yet with music, dance and song and will be the place to head if you want to catch the rising stars of tomorrow. Manic Chord Theatre will be on hand with The Unknown. Inspired by the likes of ET and Stranger Things this extra-terrestrial adventure promises a huge dollop of fun for the entire family. Book in advance workshops include the likes of stained glass, pottery and breeze block sculpting, while drop-in workshops will take in eco bird feeders, ring making, silk painting, lino-cuts and hand weaving.

We’re only giving you a little flavour of what you can expect to see at this packed weekend, so be sure to check their website for the latest news on all the good stuff that is happening.

Festival of Thrift, Saturday 14-Sunday 15 September, Kirkleatham, Redcar, TS10 5NW, free. (Note: the parade takes place on Friday 13 September from 6.30pm.) festivalofthrift.co.uk