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Festival of Imagineers 17 – 22 September 2018

5 July 2018
  • The fifth edition of the Festival of Imagineers, Coventry’s annual festival celebrating art, design and engineering from 17 – 22 September 2018
  • Enjoy a window into the world of artists and makers with events and exhibitions that go behind the scenes into the creative process.
  • Take part in workshops, maker days and demonstrations and be inspired by events and performances in Coventry city centre and surrounding areas.

The fifth edition of the Festival of Imagineers, Coventry’s annual festival produced by award-winning Imagineer returns from 17 – 22 September 2018. The Festival of Imagineers celebrates work created at the intersection of art, design and engineering and this year focuses on themes of play and connectivity.

Walk alongside a large-scale balloon and sound installation, wonder at 1000 hoops suspended in the Cathedral, contribute your ideas to Imagineer’s next large-scale project, board a custom-converted double decker bus which turns the whole city into a stage and play the streets in a Festival Finale that invites everyone to come and play.

The week starts with talks, conferences and exhibitions which go behind the scenes into the creative process in venues from Daimler, Imagineer’s creative space, to spaces including The Herbert and Coventry Cathedral covering everything from art and education to Coventry’s plans as a cycle city.

From Thursday 20 September in Broadgate each evening from 7.30pm audiences will encounter a cloud made up of a large number of luminous balloons, wafting in space, with Child Hood from Collectif Coin (France), co-produced by La Casemate. Originally commissioned by Artichoke for Lumiere London in Trafalgar Square, the balloons move gently in the wind in Broadgate, introducing an element of chaos into this otherwise meticulously ordered and mesmerising sound and light composition.

Throughout the Festival week Coventry Cathedral will host Hupla, which brings Imagineer together with Arup and four Coventry schools as they create a unique structure made out of 1000 hula-hoops. Pupils and Arup will work together to form a 20-metre high structure with a diameter at the base of 12 metres all suspended approximately 10 feet from the ground. Hula-hoops are the order of the day on Saturday 22 September as artists Julia Snowdin and Sarah Middleton bring Hoop Mania to Coventry. Play inside domes created from hundreds of hula-hoops, see these installations change over the day and of course everyone should try out a hula-hoop for themselves.

Also at Coventry Cathedral Bridge, Imagineer’s latest large-scale commission, is at the start of its 3-year journey, led by artistic director Orit Azaz, designer Dan Potra and choreographer Corey Baker and developed in partnership with engineers from Arup. During the Festival they will share emerging ideas through creative conversations, performance-based activities and experiments, story gathering and virtual reality presentations. Festival goers are invited to come along and contribute to the creative development of the project.

Rear View from IOU is an interactive experience where the streets of Coventry become part of the performance. Board a custom-converted double decker bus as it becomes a mobile auditorium that turns the City into a stage taking audiences on an unforgettable journey where familiar and not so familiar places are brought to life. Rear View runs from Thursday to Saturday with shows during the afternoon and early evening.

The Festival finale on Saturday 22 June invites everyone to come and play in public spaces. Join Festival favourites Pif-Paf as they create an explosive painting spectacle with 3 artists, 14 square metres of spinning canvass, 2 pneumatic paint cannons and gallons of paint encouraging everyone to talk about art and what it means to them.

Come along and test the newest bike developed for Imagineers Likable Bikeable project – which audiences can find out all about during Festival week in the Herbert – and take a sonic bike ride as you are propelled along in a cargo bike listening to a specially commissioned musical composition by sound artist Kaffe Matthews. Jump on board one of Imagineer’s Cyclopedia’s and take a trip through Coventry University which celebrates 175 years of teaching this year.

Take a journey through space and time with two ex astronauts in the Astronauts Caravan, a 360 degree fully rotational caravan and choreograph your own dance – for the whole world to see online – with The Dance WE Made by Casson and Friends, no dance experience necessary.

The Festival culminates in a celebration of Imagineer’s twenty-year collaboration with outdoor arts company, Teatr Biuro Podrozy marking the WWI commemorations with Carmen Funebre, the company’s most iconic performance which has tour almost 50 countries world-wide. Based on the company’s research with refugees from the former Yugoslavia during the brutal Bosnian conflict in the 1990’s as well as other outbreaks of nationalism and intolerance, Carmen Funebre is a visceral and brutal expose of the horrors of war.

Jane Hytch, Chief Executive Imagineer said: “The programme for our fifth edition of the Festival of Imagineers is both exciting and challenging. We will bring together people from across the city with artists, designers and engineers to imagine new projects and new ways of working – either in the moment as we create structures out of hoops or for the future with projects like Bridge.

“We will bring some wonderful installations to Coventry which we hope will captivate people’s imagination and provide opportunities for people to come out and play in the city centre. We look forward to welcoming everyone in September.”

Expect further programme announcements in the coming weeks.

Festival of Imagineers is supported by Arts Council England, Coventry University, Great Places, The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, City of Culture 2021, Arup, Medwell Hyde, IDP, The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Premier Group, Ramada and Coventry BID.

Find out more about the Festival of Imagineers programme at

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