Turn up the volume! Rotherham launches Signals Festival

by | 3 February 2023 | Children's Group, Community Event, Music, Rotherham

Rotherham will host a nine-day festival of music across the borough this February half-term, as part of this year’s Children’s Capital of Culture taster programme of events.

Signals Festival (being held 11th to 19th February) will include free gigs, concerts and music-making workshops, delivered by the Children’s Capital of Culture team and Rotherham Music Hub.

Having wowed crowds on tour in Yorkshire last year, the interactive Light Organ, designed by artist Akeelah Bertram, will land at Rotherham Minster between Tuesday 14th and Saturday 18th February. A stunning display of 40 eight-feet-tall pipes will spread throughout the Minster, transformed by sounds into a vibrant cascade of shifting light and colour.

A series of free workshops invite visitors to sing, clap and play the Light Organ to life during music and singing sessions, with singer Thabo Mkwananzi and pianist Aron Kyne, and a creative workshop for 1-to-5-year-olds, led by musician Thea Jacob. There will also be free performances including a showcase of talented local musicians, as well as a special concert with the Rotherham Care Home Choir.

Also watch out for brilliant bands, musicians and DJs popping up in beloved locations across the borough as part of Pop-Up and Play.  You can stumble upon amazing musical performances throughout half-term at Rother Valley Country Park Parkrun, Parkgate shopping centre, Rotherham Markets, Rotherham United Football Club and more.

Completing the nine-day festival on Sunday 19th February is AMP UP at The Bridge Inn, where some of the most talented young bands and singers in Rotherham will take to the stage throughout the day, alongside headline acts State Of Our and Hot Soles. Music Makers, a group of young people aged 16-to-25 who have helped design the programme of events, will also be putting on creative workshops for gig-goers to enjoy at the venue.

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Councillor David Sheppard, said: “We’ve teamed up with Rotherham Music Hub to launch Signals Festival. This will provide a platform to so many talented local musicians, and show Rotherham in a completely new light with events like the stunning Light Organ coming to the Minster and our AMP UP all-day mini-festival. It’s a taster for what’s to come in 2025.”

Liam O’Shea, Community Music Manager from Rotherham Music Hub, added: “This is a real opportunity to turn up the volume on Rotherham’s buzzing music scene and showcase our amazing young artists and musicians. It’s been designed by young people for audiences of all ages, so come down and see what we have to offer!”

Booking in advance is advised for the Signals Festival events, but drop-ins are also welcomed. Book your free place at bit.ly/CCOCEventbrite.

Light Organ workshops

  • 2.00pm – 5.00pm, Tuesday 14th February: children aged 1-to-5 and their families are invited to join musician Thea Jacob on a journey of self-expression. During this creative workshop you’ll explore different ways to communicate through music, colour and sound.
  • 2.00pm – 5.00pm, Wednesday 15th – Thursday 16th February and 10.00am – 1.00pm Saturday 18th February: music and singing sessions suitable for all ages and experience levels. Sing, clap and play the Light Organ to life in these workshops with singer Thabo Mkwananzi and pianist Aron Kyne.
  • 1.00pm – 1.30pm, Friday 17th February: Rotherham Care Home Choir in a special, one-off concert with the Light Organ.
  • 3.00pm – 8.00pm, Friday 17th and Saturday 18th February: talented young musicians from across Rotherham perform with the Light Organ, alongside Thabo Mkwananzi and Aron Kyne.

AMP UP takes place 12.00pm – 8.00pm, Sunday 19th February 2023, at The Bridge Inn, S60 1RB.