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Liberty EU at Journeys Festival International

Leicester, UK

  • Aalborg Karneval
  • Altonale
  • Cesie
  • CNC Danse
  • Explora
  • Inside-Out Performance
  • Journeys Festival International
  • Liberty Art
  • Outdoor Digital
  • Processional Theatre
  • Swinging Europe

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From 12 – 14 August 2022 we took over the streets of Leicester with a family-friendly programme of outstanding outdoor arts, incredible performances, live music from around the world and jaw-dropping shows. The festival explored journeys, migration and the world around us. Together we embraced different cultures, explored what it means to seek and find sanctuary and celebrated our different journeys.

We also presented the finale season of the Liberty EU programme with some of the best international outdoor arts including dance performances, vibrant live music, guardian angels, celebratory carnival shows and exhibitions, all of which have been created with our European partners. The festival shared work from Germany, France, Italy, Denmark and the UK.

  • 15,000

    Liberty EU Audiences

  • 61

    Liberty EU Participants

Liberty EU partners from across Europe shared recent commissions from the programme as part of the festival weekend too. The festival had its own guardians for the weekend in the shape of Oakleaf Creativity’s Angels commissioned by Altonale in Hamburg. The festival opening was a combination of carnival performances, live music and a DJ set at the Aalborg Karneval festival float in front of Leicester’s iconic Clock Tower.

The city was alive with the sound of music all weekend as we were able to share the delightful jazz-based Liberty Orchestra commissioned by Swinging Europe in Denmark with local audiences. Whilst Cesie, our partner from Palermo, Italy, shared live music featuring three young musicians who first collaborated at the Cesie week-long residency which occurred in 2021 as part of the 3-year Liberty EU programme.

CNC Danse performed their new work, A Little Breeze, at Curve Theatre and over at LCB Depot in the city’s cultural quarter, Explora, the Children’s Museum of Rome toured and hosted a new AI-based computer game that allows players to explore a range of emotions, both of these commissions were developed especially for younger audiences.


  • 11

    Liberty EU Commissions

Nine young artists from around the globe had work featured in a large-scale outdoor and digital exhibition as part of Betul Aksu’s, This is not a Chance Encounter and local community groups were invited to create work, alongside professional writers and poets, for the festival’s first-ever newspaper, The Journeys Gazette.

Local participants also featured in Rush by Southpaw Dance Company, a spectacular outdoor performance that took over an almost derelict part of the city with its masssive set, huge projections, and incredible live theatre. Blending up-to-date politics with physical theatre whilst exploring the migration crisis and cost of living crisis, Rush was a powerful performance exploring issue’s affecting us all through the eyes of four key characters.

Artists Yara + Davina explored a post-pandemic world with lollipops and conversations in Slow Down whilst, The Write to Rave, a live-music based, grime poetry performance exploring Rave culture, featured as the festival closing performance at a local night club.

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