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Newcastle arts festival invites locals to be vacuum-packed as NOVUM returns this summer

A flying piano, vacuum-packed living portraits, and a gravity-defying dance-circus production are all coming to Newcastle with August’s NOVUM Festival.

This year will see the first full version of NOVUM, after a pilot event in August 2023 saw hundreds of people destroy a temporary structure that had been built in front of the Civic Centre. The multi-art festival is now set to become a regular feature of the city’s summer cultural calendar, with local, national and international talent once again transforming the Civic Centre and its surroundings into a cultural playground.

The festival site is expanding from the 2023 pilot, with events also taking place at the Great North Museum: Hancock across the four-day event. A music programme has also been curated in partnership with promoters f54 and 456live, Generator and the Glasshouse International Centre for Music.

One of the most eye-catching events at NOVUM is set to be Shrink by Belgian artist Lawrence Malstaf, where local people are being invited to be vacuum-packed and vertically suspended. They will be able to breathe through a transparent tube inserted between the two plastic sheets, as they move their bodies from an embryonic position to one resembling a crucified body.



Shrink by Lawrence Malstaf
Shrink by Lawrence Malstaf

Andy Brydon, creative & company director of NOVUM organisers Curated Place, said that NOVUM would create a meeting point for everyone in Newcastle, in a celebration of people, places, mythology and spirit of the city.

He said: “We’re so excited to bring NOVUM back to the Civic Centre in summer 2024 with an expanded team, site and programme. 2024 will see ambitious partnerships and outstanding artists from across Newcastle and around the world come together, creating a distinctive festival that will help us all to explore, learn and play through creativity.”



Cirque Bijou
Cirque Bijou

Jim Mawdsley, events and culture at Newcastle City Council, said it was fantastic for the city to produce the first full version of NOVUM. He said: “We have formed strong partnerships with community groups, cultural organisations and those that promote the city in NGI and NE1.

“By doing this we are confident that we will produce a festival that is dynamic and exciting while a sense of ownership is felt across the city. Over the years it is our intention to build this event into one that helps Newcastle achieve its status as one of the great cultural cities, and that it helps increase visitor to the city to enjoy our rich culture and heritage while increasing a sense of pride in our residents.”

Early bird tickets are already on sale for some events at the NOVUM Festival, with further details expected to be announced in May. For more information, visit the NOVUM website.

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View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/novum-festival-newcastle-upon-tyne-29026034

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