It’s the final countdown

At least, it feels that way. The list of things to do is getting shorter at the same rate as the list of things to take with us to various venues grows! Meanwhile the creases are being ironed out of various impending snags and we’re on track for a fabulous weekend.


Andy McKeown @ the Market Hall

Thursday 11th February is when it really starts to take hold:

Some of our guest speakers will be arriving in town and we’ll be on hand to welcome them to our beautiful town. Amongst them is Stu Maddux, Director of Reel in the Closet which is screening on Sunday who has recently managed to confirm his trip and presence for the Q & A after the film, it really is a unique and quite beautiful insight – and also, curiously, a work in progress.

Still on Thursday, and the light projection starts after sunset on the Market Hall at the top of Mardol in the town centre. Anyone who has seen Andy McKeown’s (Wild Strawberry) art will know that this is indeed a fine sight and well worth strolling past. Andy is designing a rainbow exhibit especially for the occasion and we are well chuffed that he is going to be contributing to the Festival. If you like this then check out more of Andy’s work – including Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, York Minster and our own Museum and Art Gallery – click here: Andy’s Art.

LGBT Boards full set v2-7Thursday 11th February is also the day when we shall be installing the Back in Time Exhibition at the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. The process of putting it together has been a journey of its own and we will be using some of the footage from that to give a taster at the launch night and during Saturday at the University Centre Shrewsbury – watch out for the TV screen in ‘The Market’ area.

Friday starts nice and early for our guests Stuart Milk and Peter Tatchell who will be heading off to schools and colleges in the area. Meole Brace School, Shrewsbury Sixth Form and New College Telford are all lined up for visits and discussion with students, and William Brookes School will be taking part in a presentation and discussion on Saturday morning from 10.30am at the University Centre Shrewsbury. Education is where this festival started – with Schools Out whose over-arching aim is to make schools safe and inclusive for everyone, without that vision we would not be here planning a part of the National Festival of LGBT History – do come and join us and find out what schools and colleges have been doing, where they are at and what young people in our locality have to say.

As for the Festival Launch night – Friday 12th February – the tickets have been distributed and we are expecting about 150 people which is brilliant. If anyone took us back to the initial planning days, we would readily admit that we did not expect such a fantastic response and we are looking forward to it immensely. If you have not got a ticket – and even if you have – then don’t overlook the fascinating line-up on Saturday – rarely has a day in February offered so much to look forward to – unless you have your own personal celebratory event of course ;-).

As the Festival draws closer the number of people involved in making it happen just keeps growing, we are delighted by the support and are busy developing an impossibly difficult and ever-growing list of thanks. But hey – let’s get it started first – watch that calendar, February starts tomorrow!

For a full line up of events in Shrewsbury check out our programme: What’s On and get planning your weekend.

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