Stalybridge chosen to host a national carnival project

Date Released - 04/11/2022

STALYBRIDGE is one of  just six towns nationally chosen by Historic England to host an extra special carnival celebration next summer.


‘Hi! Street Fest’ is an ambitious collaboration project, which locally will be delivered by Historic England in partnership with Tameside Council, the Bridge Cultural Consortium, Mossley based arts organisation Global Grooves and outdoor arts company Emergency Exit Arts (EEA) – the latter two having notably both recently worked together on The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant.


The project, funded externally by the Arts Council England, aims to celebrate the future of high streets as well as bringing life and vibrancy to town centres.


In Stalybridge, it will build on the Town of Culture legacy as well as the Heritage Action Zone and culminate in a free, spectacular, home-grown procession as part of a wonderful weekend of activity on 9 and 10 September 2023 to celebrate the high street, local arts and creativity and attract visitors.


While ‘Hi! Street Fest’ is the national title for the project, the event in Stalybridge will have its own name – to be announced at a later date - to reflect the local area and celebrate its own culture and heritage. It is a separate project from the existing monthly Stalybridge Street Fest event.


EEA will work with The Bridge to collaborate with local residents in Stalybridge in a series of outreach activities and workshops to bring their unique brand of unforgettable events and participatory experiences to the town. 


The project aims to reimagine the high street, attract visitors and bring people together. The concept of ‘Hi! Street Fest’ is open and flexible, giving room for co-creation in each place.


Tameside Council Assistant Executive Member for Culture, Heritage and Digital Inclusivity Cllr Sangita Patel said: “This is fantastic news for Stalybridge and Tameside and we’re excited to work with Historic England, Emergency Exit Arts, The Bridge Cultural Consortium and other local partners to develop a fabulous, vibrant event for all members of the community to get involved in and enjoy. It will also be a wonderful opportunity to build on Stalybridge’s Town of Culture legacy and celebrate local arts and talent.”


Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: “Hi! Street Fest will give communities around six high streets across the country the chance to connect with their local places and get creative to celebrate what makes them special. We strongly believe that the combination of capital investment and cultural programming is an effective way to encourage people to view their high streets positively – as vibrant, active places of community collaboration. And we have seen that heritage is a powerful catalyst for growing civic pride. We’re pleased to be working with experts in outdoor arts events, Emergency Exit Arts, for this finale to our High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme, and hope these events will encourage future cultural collaboration on each high street, driven by local communities.”


Daniel Bernstein, CEO of Emergency Exit Arts, said: “Emergency Exit Arts are so excited to be working on this important, co-created national project. We are determined that there are opportunities for hundreds of local people in each place we are working with to get engaged in the culture of their high street and help make a real long-term difference to their place. We will bring spectacle – but the development opportunities for people to put on more events in their place, is paramount.”


Further details and opportunities to get involved will be announced over the coming months.