30-plus acts at Plymouth Respect Festival
AFTER a year's break in 2012, Plymouth Respect Festival returns this weekend in its new home at Plymouth University, with events taking place in and around a marquee and theatre on campus.
The best news is that all but one of the events in this spectacular festival are absolutely free.
The programme includes parades, live music, dancing and theatrical events from around the world and features a world food fair, taking place next to the Levinsky Building.
Organiser Dan Thompson invites everyone to "rock up and explore the campus".
NEW FROM SYMPLY - a wet dog food in a tray freshly steamed with real meat and veg you can see minimum of 68% meat content up to 72% in the adult trays.
Terms: Come and try tray at introductory price of £1
Contact: 01271 440626
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
Among the acts Dan is particularly pleased to have secured is Baluji Shrivastav and the Inner Vision Orchestra.
Indian sitar maestro Baluji has gathered musicians from around the world who are blind or partially sighted, whose music is driven by the intensity of an inner vision.
Their hugely uplifting output incorporates songs from Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, plus soulful gospel, and blues, as well as Indian ragas and western classical composition.
They will perform in Theatre One in the Levinsky Building tomorrow night and tickets to see them cost £6.
Other highlights include veterans of Glastonbury, Larmer Tree, and Saturday night headliners at Port Eliot, RSVP, a fabulously fun bhangra band who introduce partying Punjabi style, and Black Voices, a formidable female a cappella quintet of outstanding quality who sing African, Caribbean and English folk songs as well as jazz, gospel, pop and reggae.
"Part of Respect is to put things in front of people that they are not used to," says Dan.
"And we are delighted to have The Kala Chethena Kathakali, from India.
"They consist of seven actors and three musicians and it's the first time we've had the whole troupe over from India.
"They look absolutely stunning – it takes four to five hours just to apply their makeup and costumes."
The festival starts with a parade from the Guildhall to the University Campus tomorrow at 10.30am.
"This year's grand parade is going to be particularly spectacular," says Dan.
"We have been doing workshops in 21 different schools and colleges in the city, creating costumes for the parade.
"City College Plymouth has come up with a 30-foot Chinese dragon which is going to look pretty impressive.
"And Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has nothing on us. Plymouth City Bus have created a flying bus – a push-along bus with wings!
"We also have various samba bands involved in the parade, including Rhythms Of The City, the group used for cultural Olympiad, who come at samba from a very different style."
Thirty-plus acts will perform across the weekend in the festival, which is designed to promote the tolerance and understanding of other cultures in the city.
"Our most important work happens in schools," explains Dan.
"Racial prejudice is still rife here as it is elsewhere and we hope that by getting across the message of understanding to young people and coming together to celebrate cross-culturally, we can make a difference."
There are four entrances to the festival around the University site – James Street, Coburg Street, the Levinsky Building and North Hill.
At the latter, festival goers will be given a map of the site plan and programme of events.