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Spark Festival reveals 20th anniversary programme

Extraordinary artists will return to Leicester's Spark Festival in February 2023.

Participants at a previous Curve Takeover. Photo credit to Pamela Raith Photography.
Participants at a previous Curve Takeover. Photo credit to Pamela Raith Photography.

The Spark Festival programme presents us with theatre, dance, a range of live music and visionary experiences for children up to the age of 13.

Spark will transform Leicester into a City Playground with graffiti classes and the chance to become a DJ! There'll also be creative writing and funky fashion design sessions.

The festival will run from Monday, February 13 to Sunday 19. It will take place in venues such as libraries, theatres, community centres and schools. Don’t worry if any of those venues are inaccessible to you because there will be a chain of online performances in which you can of course watch at home.

Palaver Party at Curve. Photo credit to Emma Jones.
Palaver Party at Curve. Photo by Emma Jones.

Christopher Gorry, Artistic Director at Spark Arts said: "The Spark Festival has always been

dedicated to amplifying children’s creative voices and choices across Leicestershire.

"It therefore, feels appropriate that in its twentieth year, the festival will not only be focused on entertaining young audiences, but also empowering them - whether that’s by seeing their own lives represented on stage; expressing themselves creatively through one of the festival’s workshops, or by bringing to the stage voices and stories that often go unheard."

The first ever Spark Festival took place in 2003. It focuses heavily on championing children’s arts with the aim to engage them into performing arts. The work presented in this year’s event will emphasise activism, expression and creativity. This creates a programme that uses the arts and creativity as a way to enhance discussions and comprehension.

As always, children aren’t just the audience. This year, they’ll be asked to work with artists to take over Leicester’s Cultural Quarter and Belgrave Library, as part of a City Takeover that will include activities, games, and performances devised by children for the whole family to enjoy together.

Spark Festival highlights

Palaver Party:

A party full of wonderful people who are free and proud to be who they are and who they aspire to be. Stick on a sequin or two, or a few more! Get ready for a boogie and an unforgettable time!

Choogh choogh:

An exciting and delightful train venture through the land of exquisite cultures... India! Set in a world full of music, colour, and imagination, classical Indian dance combines music, theatre, and play.


A musical journey from Memphis to Mumbai! Imagine a legendary 60s soul band playing

Bollywood music – that’s Botown. This family-friendly gig is for everyone to get their groove on.


A magical dance theatre piece created especially for babies aged 0-2, this gorgeous

multi-sensory show is sure to engage your child’s imagination.

Four Go Wild in Wellies:

A whimsical, playful adventure featuring bobble hats, scarves, tents that have a life of their own, and, of course, lots of fun in wellies!

Festival Takeover:

Working with world-class artists, children from four Leicester schools have let their imaginations run riot and are taking over Curve, Phoenix, and Leicester Museum and Art Gallery.

Belgrave Takeover:

Children and families of Belgrave are collaborating with artists to create the best-ever festival of events in Belgrave Library, bringing people together for shared fun and experiences and making memories in the place they live.

Where to buy tickets:

Tickets for The Spark Festival are on sale now. To book, find out more and see the full programme of activities, visit their website. The Spark Festival runs from February 13-19.


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