Contemporary Arts Festivals in East Midlands Rural Spaces

During June and July 2015 we invited you to step on board, revel in the Flaming Skirt Festival and celebrate your local community. 

We hope you enjoyed the two pop-up contemporary art community festivals, one in NW Leicestershire and one in Derbyshire. Each unique day involved five exciting mini contemporary arts events and a double-decker bus taking us between each venue. There was fun and delightful creative surprises at each Flaming Skirt Festival location, with lots of tea and cakes. We experienced great arts, fantastic activities and learnt new skills.

These are great places to live, visit and work. So thank you to everyone who came along and we hope to see you next time.

Here's a bit about your Flaming Skirt Festival Artists...


Sally Lemsford – Curator/Artist  

Creator of all 3 Flaming Skirt Festivals. Sally creates social events for people in their own locality rather than in a gallery. She wants people to look afresh at their own space, to think about their own everyday experiences, stories, moments in life. Generally it involves having FUN. This is art as process, art as traces, art as intervention.

Charlotte Ashman – Frenzied Fashionistas 


Charlotte lead us in Langley Mill in a frenzy of haute couture paper constructions and fasteners for a fashion show extraordinaire. Charlotte’s work is centred around the broad theme of ‘Environment’. This includes how we interact with the natural environment, our personal environment (our body/mind) and how we interlink with each other.   


Sophie Cero – On-the-bus participations and memorabilia

Festival community cohesion and key to memories with quality souvenir items to take home. A maker/interactive performer, she creates spectacular participatory surprises nationally/locally, including Flaming Skirt Festival twice. In 2014 she welcomed us all on to the bus with a travel pack of toots, balloons and self-congratulatory clapping.


Miles & Dacombe – Forward Footing


Miles & Dacombe lead us in Moira and Ironville on wonderfully artistic walks with interventions. Working nationally, their discovery walks make the everyday, extraordinary. Photograph (right) by Electric Egg.


Hunt & Darton Cafe


In NW Leicestershire, culturally familiar refreshments subverted through performance were brought to you by Hunt & Darton. Internationally known artists, they pop up in diverse places, creating a welcoming atmosphere with refreshments, encouraging playful participation and meaningful social encounters. Not seen in East Midlands before. Photograph by Christa Holka.


Queenie Tea – 'Where ya bin'go?' 

In Ashby and Alfreton Queen Tea treated festival goers to a 'pop up game show' using a bonanza of classic fete games. Sally Boon developed Queenie Tea over 4 years, appearing at Edinburgh Fringe, Tempting Failure and Nottingham.


Lindsey Warnes-Carroll – Shirley’s Snack Shack Extravaganza 


Shirley served Derbyshire festival goers with culturally familiar refreshments subverted through performance. Lindsey is a performer, writer, storyteller and theatre practitioner who works across the East Midlands. She regularly performs with comedy group Unidentified Flying Improv and was part of the team behind the award-nominated show Barbara Steele’s Wheels of Steel at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival 2013. Incorporating comedy, song and delightful characters, she creates work that is engaging, adventurous and a little bit different.     


Dave Wood – Instant Theatre

Dave Wood lead the fun at Snibston Discovery Museum for a dose of instant theatre, a form devised by R G Gregory in 1960s/70s. Dave is a community arts worker, writer and inventor of daft stuff to get people running with their imaginations (and with no need for shorts). He has been in the creative industries since 1988. He’s originally from Heanor. He worked as a member of the Instant Theatre collective touring nationally/internationally for 10 years. He presented FSF2014 on-the-bus mini-event.


JP Deacon – Bus conductor for the day   



Sally Lemsford & Trudy Cleaver – Documentation