Two town centre festivals postponed until 2021 will merge

3 minute read
Two town centre festivals postponed until 2021 will merge

Published at 11:23am 19th June 2020. (Updated at 12:18pm 19th June 2020)

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced two Cornish events to run online for 2020 - but next year will become one.

The Garden festival and The Whitegold Festival of Clay, both based in St Austell, have been postponed until 2021 following UK Government recommendations.

Organisers say the two festivals are set to merge together as one - providing "one bigger programme of workshops, activities, craft stalls, food traders, live music and entertainment for local people to enjoy".

2021 dates are set to be confirmed and announced shortly.

James Staughton, Chair of St Austell Bay Economic Forum, which leads the Austell Project, said: “Although a very tough decision and one we didn't take lightly, our team feel postponing until 2021 is what's necessary to help keep everyone safe. We know, like us, many will be left disappointed, however we’re very excited to be able to continue our work for St Austell and look forward to sharing our ongoing initiatives and developments over the coming months.”

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The team is launching a virtual exhibition online to showcase the Garden Route projects, Whitegold public art commissions and hopefully the completed International Ceramics Prize winner’s works – making a vast selection accessible from home. 

The collection of artworks, being created by leading international artists especially for St Austell was intended to be exhibited at the Whitegold festival this September, will now be shown online via the Whitegold website.

Works by ceramic designer Matt Davies, artists Cleo Mussi and Simon Bayliss and the Cornish Honey Bee Tile mural - created with over 10,000 stoneware tiles made by local residents of St Austell, artists, makers and HRH Prince Charles – will be available to view virtually in the Project’s first online exhibition.

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Co-Curator, of the Whitegold Project, Alex Murdin added: “We’re fortunate to be working with an incredible mix of established artists, collaborating to bring to life a number of new artworks for St Austell. Thankfully a form of the festival can be pivoted to bring a new, free, online exhibition – something we’re hugely excited to share.”

Both the Garden and Whitegold festivals are Austell Project initiatives, led by St Austell Bay Economic Forum - a collective made up of local businesses, public bodies and community organisations, working together to better St Austell Bay and the surrounding clay villages.

The Austell Project seeks to enhance the landscape, transform public spaces, stimulate economic growth and promote pride in the local community. The ambitious and varied project initiatives all centre around two key themes, deep rooted within the fabric of St Austell’s heritage – horticulture (The Garden Route) and clay (The Whitegold Project). It is the Project’s hope to create a new vision for St Austell’s cultural future.

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