DissFest aiming to boost cultural engagement of town

DissFest promo ANL-150503-102821001
DissFest promo ANL-150503-102821001

A gap in the cultural calendar of Diss will be filled by DissFest this month, which will offer a wide array of entertainment for all ages.

Running over the weekend of Friday, March 20, to Sunday, March 22, events will run at numerous locations including Diss Corn Hall, Diss Park, Diss Youth and Community Centre and even Fairchild’s Tea Rooms in St Nicholas Street.

Events include two mini-music festivals in Diss Park on the Friday and Saturday featuring local talent, Dove Players performing drama in Fairchild’s, with food as part of the ticket price, creative and crafty workshops for children, an historical tour of Diss, a circus act, plays, a range of other musical performances and arts workshops.

Although all ages are catered for, there is a distinct emphasis on offering things for young people to do.

It is organised by Vinces Road-based Unit Twenty Three, which is a social enterprise aimed at supporting the development of young people, especially through creative ventures.

Joshua Gould, of Unit Twenty Three said that it had been a long process applying for funding for the event, and said that the enterprise was established in 2012 because a study found that Diss had low levels of engagement in the arts.

“We thought the best way to improve that was to run a festival,” said Mr Gould.

“We have tried to make it very community focused and tried to generate community cohesion.”

He said the March timing of the event was so that it would not clash with other events in Diss like the Carnival and the Park Alive! music event run by Diss Rotary Club.

“We wanted to stay away from the festival season,” said Mr Gould.

“We have tried to offer something for everyone. We wanted to put an emphasis on younger people because there is not a lot for them. We have tried to tick everyone’s boxes, which is difficult.

“If it goes well, we will apply for funding again for next year.”

Mr Gould and a small team at Unit Twenty Three are hoping for good feedback and have been promoting the events in local schools.

Other events include a masterclass in performing drama, a technical workshop on sound and lighting and a ‘creative market’ where artists can share their work to a backdrop of songs from buskers.

Children can also explore the world of pirates in a music workshop, while a grisly murder tour of Diss is sure to get the spine tingling.

More information, a full line-up of events, ticket prices, and contact details are available on the special festival website: www.dissfest.uk