The Reading Festival of Weather, Art and Music - 1st to 3rd June 2012
When: 1-3 June 2012
Where: Reading Town Hall, Reading
What: The Reading Festival of Weather, Art and Music
Our very first event, put together by an adhoc committee of enthusiastic people who worked on a shoestring budget and with much support in kind to put on a multi-faceted community event. We had a Weather Fair where people could come and meet meteorologists and climate scientist face to face, the Forecast Factory which very successfully recreated Lewis Fry Richardson's vision of a computer made up of human computers to calculate the weather forecast; we also had talks on local weather and weather in music, and we ran Climate Change Question Time, featuring a very eminent panel of climate scientists who answered questions from the audience.
We commissioned local artists to respond to an aspect of weather they particularly related to, we had art workshops on weather themes, we had a sonic arts installation by a very exciting young group called Iconik Sonik. The Weather Shaman made unexpected weather forecasts if you crossed her palm with silver, and BBC weather forecaster Laura Tobin entertained us with her tales from the forecasting front.
We ran three concerts, all with a weather theme: a lunchtime guitar recital by Gerard Cousins; Seascape, a collaborative recital by WAM Festival Director Pierrette Thomet , pianist Stephen Faber and Professor Paul Hardaker which explored our relationship with the oceans from a musical and meteorological point of view; and the Jubilee Gala concert featuring international soprano Alison Pearce in a ravishing programme of songs which included the world premiere of our specially commissioned piece, Haze and the absence of clouds for soprano, piano and string quarted, by noted British composer Rhian Samuel.
Our partners for the Festival were: the Royal Meteorological Society, the University of Reading, the Met Office and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF). Our audience spanned all ages and groups, and despite torrential downpours all weekend people turned up in numbers - some 800 or so through the weekend. If you want to see the beautifully produced event programme in full, click on the link below.