Nearly 3,000 people took part in Holloway Arts Festival 2010, which ran from 24 June - 4 July and featured more than 30 events. These included comedy, music, dance, films, exhibitions, workshops and talks, and were held in a variety of venues around Holloway.
The festival launched with the opening of the Making Inroads exhibition. Through photography and oral history, the project tells the stories of 40 people from all over the world and the UK who have come to live and work on or around Holloway Road.
We held two brand new competitions: the Female Singer Songwriter Competition won by Ellie Rowsell and the Battle of the Bands, won by Scarlet in the Wilderness.
The Big Day Out, the festival’s main outdoor event in Whittington Park, attracted more than 1,250 people for a free day of music, dance performances, street theatre, short film screenings, stalls and arts activities. One highlight was an interactive performance of High Tea by Instantly Theatrical, which was produced by volunteer Rebecca Coward and depicted a group of 1950s Girl Guides trying to gain their hostess badges while the audience joined in with their tea party.
‘Despite a cut in funding this year, the 8th Holloway Arts Festival still managed to provide a fantastic range of high quality art events in Islington.
As always, there was something for everyone and a really special blend of local and high profile talent. We had three children’s authors events: a local mum called Candy Gourlay who’d just published her first book, Tall Story, at North Library; Nicky Singer at Lauderdale House; and Anthony Horowitz at the British Library.
A beautiful book has been produced from the ‘Making Inroads’ oral history project and it’s been wonderful to find out more about some of the people I come across in everyday life in Holloway – my dental nurse Veronica, my school’s head teacher, Mary Gibson and Hasan Tuncbilek, who runs the dry cleaners.
It’s succeeded, yet again, in making me feel connected to Holloway and appreciate the power of the arts to stimulate and enliven. It’s been a celebration of the talent in our neighbourhood and brought world-class practitioners to our doorstep. What a gift!’