Re/action Festival Programme 2023

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Art Reach in association with Leicester City Council present Re/action Festival: Exploring Creativity for the Climate. Thanks to additional support from Curve Theatre and De Monfort University. 26–27 August 2023 Leicester City Centre Creativity for the Climate #ReactionFestival2023 @ArtReachEvents @_ArtReach

Art Reach in association with Leicester City Council present Re/action Festival.

Re/action Festival celebrates Creativity for the Climate and focuses on people and communities coming together to create small changes that add up to make a big difference.

During our free festival weekend, we’ll explore the world of bees, watch an orchestra playing tunes on vegetables, see incredible mechanical creatures and listen to the trees sing.

With pop-up performances, exhibitions, workshops and installations, the festival will help us learn how to re/wind our environmental impact.

We strive to make the festival inclusive, safe and enjoyable for all.

To find your environmentally friendly way to travel to the festival and to get around the city, head to

You’ll find this guide useful to plan your weekend, so keep your copy handy. You’ll also see lots of interesting content and information at and on our social media:



Use #ReactionFestival2023 to share your best festival pictures.

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Throughout the festival guide, you’ll find these icons that will help you know what to expect from each performance:

Suitable for all ages On the move Speech free Loud moments Age restricted Join in
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The Hidden Music of Trees

The Hidden Music of Trees is an outdoor sound installation that enables listeners to experience music composed by trees.

The soundscapes are generated entirely by trees using bio-feedback technology which converts small electrical signals created by each tree into pitch information, which is played through a range of analogue synthesisers.

Placed around Museum Square, there are 10 coloured wooden plaques attached to 10 different trees, and each plaque contains a unique tree symbol. The tree symbols are like a QR code. To listen to the tree compositions, simply download the free Artivive app on a mobile phone, open the app and point it at the tree symbol to activate the unique tree soundscape.


To experience The Hidden Music of Trees, please download the free app Artivive, available on Android and Apple devices. Once you’ve opened the app, scan the wooden plaques on the trees to access an animation and soundscape. You can control volume levels on your device.

Scan me to download Artivive for Android. Scan me to download Artivive for Apple. #ReactionFestival2023

The Herd of Mechanical Creatures

26 and 27 August

12.00pm–12.40pm 2.20pm–3.00pm 4.30pm–5.10pm

Clock Tower Image Birgit Bode

They file past slowly.

Stamping, munching and steaming.

An unusual herd is looking for grazing in Leicester’s city centre as they stomp around and chew the cud.

These creatures, crafted from items left to rust in the scrap yard, have given new life to once treasured possessions. Come and find them as they slowly move around, chains clanking and cogs turning.

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by foolpool

26 and 27 August



Jubilee Square


Pif-Paf Credits

Commissioned by The British Science Association.

Bee Cart

Bee Guides Bombus and Borage have left the hive with their Bee Cart.

The Bee Cart is a mobile world of interaction and surreal but true information exploring all things bees and pollination.

Our hosts are from a secret organisation called The Human Union of Pollinators – preparing for the worst but hoping for the best with their mobile world of interaction, bee wisdom and surreal fun.

Delve into the world of bees, learn the pollen packing dance, the waggle dance and try out their Buzz Pollenator or their Flapper-Winger-Tronerators, meet a giant Varroa Mite, and maybe even get your nose pollinated!

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27 August

2.00pm–2.25pm Parade


Jubilee Square


Sue Nitti, Nupur Arts

Parade Route

The parade starts at Gallowtree Gate, then moves towards the Clock Tower and through the High Street to Jubilee Square.


Arts Council England

The Journey to Leicester –From Gujarat to the Golden Mile

Experience an outdoor Indian Folk dance parade in Leicester’s city centre.

Join Nupur Arts in this wonderful parade featuring traditional Gujarati folk dance, costumes and props, inspired by the recent Gujarati Heritage project ‘Gujarat To Golden Mile’.

This dance parade is inspired by the stories of Leicester’s Indian migrants from India and Africa and their settlement in the East Midlands. Nupur Arts are using sustainable suppliers and recycled materials, props and costumes to bring a taste of Gujarat to you, in an environmentally friendly way!

You are all welcome to join in on the fun and get a glimpse into Gujarati stories and culture. After the parade, join Nupur Arts for a second live performance on the Jubilee Square stage at 3.00pm.

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26 and 27 August

12.15pm–12.45pm 2.00pm–2.30pm 4.00pm–4.30pm

High Street

(Near HMV)

Image Puppets with Guts


Arts Council England

Meet Gnomus, the giant caretaker of our planet.

Join him for a ginormous, green-hearted show as he unearths unknown facts about our environment and checks every leaf and flower in Leicester.

This bumbling, gentle big puppet is kind and friendly, encouraging families to engage with themes of conservation in this spectacular show about taking care of our planet.

Gnomus by Puppets with Guts
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@_ArtReach @ArtReachEvents

26 August


Jubilee Square


Heidrun Henke


Jürgen Berlakovich, Nikolaus Gansterer, Susanna Gartmayer, Barbara Kaiser, Matthias

Meinharter, Jörg Piringer, Richard Reper, Ingrid

Schlögl, Ulrich Troyer, Tamara Wilhelm and Martina Winkler.

The Vegetable Orchestra

from Vienna

Have you ever seen an orchestra performing on vegetables?

The Vegetable Orchestra was founded in Vienna, Austria, in 1998 and has played more than 300 concerts so far. This unusual orchestra performs with instruments made from fresh vegetables, which have to be created anew for each concert and rehearsal.

The use of vegetable instruments changes slightly each time, creating a unique universe of sound that cannot be achieved with traditional instruments. There are no musical boundaries for The Vegetable Orchestra, all music styles fuse here – contemporary music, House tracks, Electronic, Free Jazz, Dub and more.

A concert of The Vegetable Orchestra appeals to all the senses - after a short time, a wonderful smell of vegetables fills the air. At the end of the concert, the audience is offered fresh vegetable soup to enjoy together, for free.

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26 and 27 August

12.30pm–2.00pm 3.00pm–4.30pm

St Peter’s Square




The Bees

The Bees is a collection of beautifully hand-made hives with copper roofs and corners.

Each one hides a unique, unexpected interior world. Some use high-spec digital technology, others rely on more traditional means.

Audiences wander amongst the honey-perfumed bee colony, occasionally cloaked in smoke, finding a variety of ways to view and interact with the different hives.

In each hive, there is a surprising twist that challenges, charms and confounds expectations – you may find yourself looking into the vastness of space or being teased by a telescopic hive soaring into the air.

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Arts Council England, Platform 4, Without Walls and Xtrax.

26 and 27 August

1.00pm–1.20pm 2.30pm–2.50pm 4.00pm–4.20pm

Jubilee Square

Im age

Alisa Boanta


The Allotment Project is supported by Applause Rural Touring, Creative Estuary, Made With Many, Peterborough Presents, 101 Outdoor Arts, Creation Space, Westraven Community Garden, Arches Local and Arts Council England.

The Allotment Project

A new Documentary Dance Theatre show.

The Allotment Project by Casson & Friends is a new show that explores allotments and the communities around them!

Interviews from allotment owners and community gardeners are combined with compelling movement to create a human, humorous and heart-warming performance that celebrates the joy of growing plants, food and relationships.

Scan me for additional content.

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Scan the QR code or visit to see the full plans for Jubilee Square. 15 #ReactionFestival2023

26 and 27 August

1.00pm–2.00pm 3.30pm–4.30pm

Clock Tower


JMA Photography

Time Machine Disco

Leicester, we need you!

The future of dance hangs in the balance and it is your mission to save it.

Glass House Dance invite you to join them on a clubbing journey through the ages. Calling all foot-tappers, dad dancers, disco divas, jumping jivers, old school ravers and shake-your-moneymakers.

Come and join the Time Machine Disco, step back in time and save the future of dance.

Please note: A Smoke Machine/Haze is used during this performance.

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The Vegetable Nannies

26 and 27 August

1.30pm–1.50pm 3.20pm–3.40pm


Jubilee Square

Im age Plunge Boom

The Vegetable Nannies are out for a day trip with their family of little ones.

If you see an old pram brimming with some beautiful bouncing baby fruits and vegetables, come over and say hello! No doubt the nannies could use a hand with feeding and taking care of all their adorable babies. Endearing characters include Jessica, the sweet-potato Beauty Queen, the talented little marrow Oz who dreams of becoming a stage actor, and Babs, the daring downhill-racing watermelon.

The Vegetable Nannies and their adorable baby fruits and vegetables are at the heart of Let’s Grow Online, where participants are immersed in the world of plants, healthy eating, growing and gardening, led by CBeebies’ best loved gardener, Mr Bloom.

An array of interactive films, songs and sensory experiences enable children to learn at

by Plunge Boom
Scan me to get growing. 17 #ReactionFestival2023
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26 and 27 August

Jubilee Square


Elizabeth Dyer

Nature Journal Walks and

Giant Floor Artwork

with Insecta Collective

Saturday 26 August – Nature Journal Walks:

12.00pm–1.00pm, 1.30pm–2.30pm,


Join us for a wander through the city and into Castle Gardens. Ponder and marvel at the wonders of the natural world and observe how it persists and breaks through, even in the most urban of environments. Stop to record your experiences and embrace your surroundings through notes, sketching and wax rubbings. On arrival at Castle Gardens, we'll show you how to bind your creative journey pages into a nature journal, using an easy binding technique.

Nature Journal Walks begin in Jubilee Square and head towards Castle Gardens for the final section.

Suitable for all ages and abilities, but best for those age 5+.

Sunday 27 August – Giant Floor Artwork:


Come and create a collaborative nature-themed floor artwork designed and executed by you! Present your designs by drawing them in chalk on the floor at Jubilee Square. The public will vote on which one we create, then we'll work together to make it a reality, using junk materials. We provide everything you need, just bring your design ideas!

Everyone is welcome to get involved, but small children should be supervised at all times.

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26 August

12.00pm–1.00pm 1.30pm–2.30pm 3.00pm–4.00pm

Castle Gardens

Image Canal and River Trust


Canal and River Trust

River Soar Floating Litter Pick

with the Canal and River Trust


the Canal and River Trust and help clean up the River Soar.

Help protect our canals, rivers and wildlife from plastic pollution before it becomes part of the habitat forever.

Each year, an estimated 14 million pieces of plastic rubbish end up in and around our canals and rivers, with around 500,000 pieces flowing out into our oceans.

Board the Canal and River Trust’s workboat Aylesbury, as we take on the plastic challenge and remove plastics and other harmful litter from the waterways.

All equipment is provided but we ask that you bring your own gloves. This activity is suitable for ages 8 and up, all under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult.

The Floating Litter Pick is free for all but needs booking in advance. Please scan the QR code for tickets or visit

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for tickets.


23–27 August

Various times

and dates

Soft Touch Arts

Im age

Soft Touch Arts

Eco-Fest events for families and young people.

Junk Sculpture Workshops

23–27 August

11.00am–2.30pm Creating sculptures from reclaimed materials for the Museum Square collection.

Open Mic Sessions

24 August 12.00pm–3.00pm

STepUP Showcase

25 August 4.00pm–9.30pm


26 August 6.00pm onwards

With Lee Spreadbury, Honest Dave, Joey B-Side, Dave Kerr and Wavey.

Visit for full details.

Scan me for Eco-Fest events.

by Soft Touch Arts
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An annual nature-themed creative writing prize for 7-17 year olds, run by Writing East Midlands.

An annual nature-themed creative writing prize for 7-17 year olds, run by Writing East Midlands.

An annual nature-themed creative writing prize for 7-17 year olds, run by Writing East Midlands.

The prize invites young people to take a closer look at the natural world, explore their relationship with it, or examine the challenges it faces, and write short stories, poems, and thought-provoking blogs in response.

The prize invites young people to take a closer look at the natural world, explore their relationship with it, or examine the challenges it faces, and write short stories, poems, and thought-provoking blogs in response.

The prize invites young people to take a closer look at the natural world, explore their relationship with it, or examine the challenges it faces, and write short stories, poems, and thought-provoking blogs in response.

Cash prizes and goody bags for winners.

Cash prizes and goody bags for winners.

Cash prizes and goody bags for winners.

Shortlisted writers in each category will have their work published in a digital anthology.

Shortlisted writers in each category will have their work published in a digital anthology.

Shortlisted writers in each category will have their work published in a digital anthology.

Open for entries until 31st October 2023.

Open for entries until 31st October 2023.

Open for entries until 31st October 2023.


Visitor Information Planning Your Visit

Are you using public transport to come to our festival? Then we can point you in the right direction. Find out more about how to get around the city at

Access Information

We’re aiming to be as accessible and inclusive as we can be.

Our website has accessibility tools that will help you find what you need and we’re striving to make our festival enjoyable for all.

You’ll find all key information on our website

If you want to chat about any access requirements in advance or would like this information in a different format, please contact or call 01162 616 882.

Easy-Read, large print and digital versions of this programme are available to download using the QR code on this page and on our website, and are also available by post in advance.

As all of our activities are taking place in the city centre, with a main focus on Jubilee Square, the festival locations are accessible to everyone but we’re also providing chairs for you to rest on if required, just ask our friendly team and they’ll be happy to help.

If you’re visiting us from out of town, then take a look at or

Are you looking for places to stay or eat, or want to know more what other delights Leicester has to offer? Then head to

On our festival map, you’ll find locations for accessible toilets and blue badge parking spaces.

If you need some quiet spaces during the festival, you can go to Cathedral Gardens and Castle Gardens, which will give you some rest during the busy festival activities.

We’re very keen to make our festival enjoyable for all, so if you’ve got suggestions for improving our access provision, your feedback is most welcome!

Scan me for accessible documents.

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What’s on and When?

26 August

26 and Sunday 27 August

27 August

Time Title Company Location Page 12.00pm–1.00pm 1.30pm–2.30pm 3.00pm–4.00pm Nature Journal Walks Insecta Collective Jubilee Square 19 12.00pm–1.00pm 1.30pm–2.30pm 3.00pm–4.00pm River Soar Floating Litter Pick Canal and River Trust Castle Gardens 20 3.00pm–4.10pm The Vegetable Orchestra The Vegetable Orchestra Jubilee Square 11 6.00pm onwards ECO-disco! Soft Touch Arts New Walk 21 Sunday
Time Title Company Location Page 12.00pm–5.00pm Giant Floor Artwork Insecta Collective Jubilee Square 19 2.00pm–2.25pm 3.00pm–3.20pm The Journey to Leicester Nupur Arts Parade Jubilee Square Stage 8 Saturday
Time Title Company Location Page 11.00am–2.30pm Junk Sculpture Workshops Soft Touch Arts New Walk 21 12.00pm–6.00pm The Hidden Music of Trees Jason Singh Museum Square 5 12.00pm–6.00pm Creative Corner Various artists Jubilee Square 15 12.00pm–12.40pm 2.20pm–3.00pm 4.30pm–5.10pm The Herd of Mechanical Creatures foolpool Clock Tower 6 12.00pm–12.45pm 2.15pm–3.00pm Bee Cart Pif-Paf Jubilee Square 7 12.15pm–12.45pm 2.00pm–2.30pm 4.00pm–4.30pm Gnomus Puppets with Guts High Street (Near HMV) 9 12.30pm–2.00pm 3.00pm–4.30pm The Bees Artizani St Peter's Square 12 1.00pm–1.20pm 2.30pm–2.50pm 4.00pm–4.20pm The Allotment Project Casson & Friends Jubilee Square 13 1.00pm–2.00pm 3.30pm–4.30pm Time Machine Disco Glass House Dance Clock Tower 16 1.30pm–1.50pm 3.20pm–3.40pm 4.30pm–4.50pm The Vegetable Nannies Plunge Boom Jubilee Square 17 25 #ReactionFestival2023

Useful Information

Parking Locations

The nearest car parks to the festival sites are:

Highcross Shopping Centre (includes Blue Badge Parking) LE1 4FY

Applegate (Blue Badge parking only) LE1 5LD

NCP Rutland Street

(including accessible bays) LE1 1UT

Haymarket Shopping Centre (includes Blue Badge Parking) LE1 3HR

NCP Lee Circle (including accessible bays) LE1 3RE

Dover Street (includes Blue Badge Parking) LE1 6PT

Newarke Street

(includes Blue Badge Parking) LE2 7AD

Upper Brown Street (includes Blue Badge Parking) LE1 5AG

Location Road Name Postcode Clock Tower East Gates LE1 5YA Gallowtree Gate Gallowtree Gate LE1 1DD High Street (Near HMV) High Street LE1 4FP Jubilee Square Jubilee Square LE1 4LD St Peter's Square Bath House Lane LE1 4SA Castle Gardens Castle Park LE2 7BY Soft Touch Arts New Walk LE1 6TF Museum Square New Walk LE1 6UF Accessible Facilities Address Postcode Accessible toilets Changing Places toilet Accessible baby changing Highcross Shopping Centre, High Street LE1 4JB Accessible toilets Haymarket Shopping Centre, 1 Kildare Walk LE1 3YH 1 11 15 2 12 16 3 13 17 5 7 8 4 14 18 6 9 10
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We Love Feedback

It’s your way of telling us what you think of the festival. You’re not only helping us to develop the festival with your feedback, but you also have the chance to win some great prizes!

2021_A3 Leicester D4_VECTOR.indd 1 18/01/2022 13:44 1 11 15 14 13 2 16 5 18 17 6 7 8 3 4 12 9 10 Scan me to give
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or follow us on social media leicestertextilesfestival leicestertextilesfestival leictextilefest For more information, visit our website

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