Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Youth Festival looks to Rio for carnival theme

NEXT year?s Henley Youth Festival will have a carnival theme to reflect the Olympic Games in Brazil in the summer.

NEXT year?s Henley Youth Festival will have a carnival theme to reflect the Olympic Games in Brazil in the summer.

The festival, now in its 23rd year, will take place from March 12 to 20 and will feature original art, music, performance and educational activities for young people aged four to 18.

Jo Dickson, who co-chairs the festival, said: ?We took our cue from the 2016 Olympics and wanted to embrace the vibrant elements of carnival spirit that will embody the Rio games.

?We would love to see artwork, films and performances that reflect the colours, movements, sights and sounds of carnival. We are hoping that everyone will be inspired by the theme and will have fun with it.?

Next year there will be greater opportunities for older children to get involved with behind-the-scenes activities as well as the performances.

Secondary school and college students can see how they can get involved at a special event to be held at Lovibonds Brewery in Greys Road car park next Friday from 3pm to 6pm.

Kate Swinburn-Johnson, co-chairwoman, said: ?You may be a performer, a DJ or in a band or perhaps you?re interested in being a presenter, a stage manager or a sound/lighting technician, or you might be a film-maker or photographer.

?If you would like to learn more, come along to our event at Lovibonds to hear how you can get some real experience of these roles. Plus, there will be free pizza!?

Beatbox performer Randolph Matthews has been booked to run some school workshops and then lead a performance at the Kenton Theatre during the festival.

Ms Dickson said: ?The school workshops have always proved popular with the children but parents don?t always gain a sense of how much their children are achieving.

?We wanted to give them the chance to see the outcomes of the school workshops and watch their children?s performances.? There will be dance workshops for children in school years 5 and 6 which will be filmed and shown at the Kenton Theatre.

Older students will be able to get involved with the filming.

Many of the popular events will be making a return, including the Stonor Run, the gig night at Lovibonds and the Junior Proms at Shiplake College.

The Senior Proms, Entertain, Sing and Dance evenings will be held at the Kenton Theatre and there will be numerous workshops running in local schools as well as various competitions.

Organisers hope to increase the number of workshops at Bishopswood Special School in Sonning Common and stage one at the Chiltern Centre for disabled children in Henley.

The festival will be launched in all schools in Henley in January. For more information, visit

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