Making a splash all along the Wye Valley, from April 29 to May 15, The Wye Valley River Festival celebrates the River Wye and its connections to rivers and people around the world.
Fabulous, free, family entertainment includes fire and flame, music, choirs, shows, performances and art installations. The exciting programme is led by the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty unit and arts professionals collaborating with local communities.
A travelling performance and activity space, the Wye Serai, is created around three intriguing caravans: The Caravan of Myths and Legends; The Caravan of Fact and Wonder and The Caravan of Curiosities and Hydrosities.There’s also a comic River Health Check Laboratory and river characters, the Water Ones, wrangling in a comic chaos of pouring and spilling, singing and dancing. At the heart of the Wye Serai is the Giant Samovar, capturing the joys of abundant fresh water and celebrating that Water is Life!
Starting with a “wow” in Hereford on April 29 (7.30pm-9.45pm), festivities continue from 10am to 6pm on April 30, with a Wye Serai alongside Hereford River Carnival. On May 1, the Festival visits Ross-on-Wye (11am to 5pm) and May 2 sees a ceremonial canoe launch at Bishopswood with festival flags carried down to Lydbrook Tump, where the fun lasts from noon to 5pm. May 2 also marks the launch of a sound installation by Dan Fox on the bridge over the Wye at Redbrook (continues to May 8).
Old Station, Tintern hosts the Festival on May 6 from 11am-10pm. Outdoor arts installation Luminous Birds is officially launched at 7pm and remains open until May 15 alongside One Thousand Birds.
The Festival is in Monmouth on May 6, 12noon-4pm and May 7, 12 noon-10.15pm. On Saturday the Wye Serai is on Vauxhall Fields and there’s a spectacular evening show.
On May 8, 11am-5pm at The Slaughters, Symonds Yat, there’s a mini Serai and magical walk. On May 14, 12.30pm-10.30pm, the Wye Serai visits Llandogo. Illuminations light the riverside as, in the evening, choirs join with The Water Ones to bless the waters of the Wye.
On May 15, 2pm to 10.30pm, the grand finale at Chepstow Racecourse features games; a Beast Feast; a Wye Serai; a fire sculpture, lanterns; water stories and final servings from the Samovar.
Visit www.wyevalleyaonb.org.uk; Twitter: @wyebeauty #wyevalleyriverfestival; Facebook: www.facebook.com/ wyevalleyriverfestival