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Wiltshire Creative Lifts Off in Salisbury

sal cathedral
30 August 2018


Wiltshire Creative’s Lift Off! weekend, celebrating the arts in Salisbury, attracted estimated crowds of more than 13,000 residents and visitors into the city over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Four days of free events and activities marked the start of the first season of programming from Wiltshire Creative, the new organisation that combines Salisbury Arts Centre, Salisbury Playhouse and Salisbury International Arts Festival.

On Friday evening live music from bands Just Us and The Deloreons in The Close was followed by a spectacular fireworks display, set to music, over the cathedral.

Across the weekend there were free theatre performances in and around the Playhouse performed by community groups, a Family Fiesta of craft activities at Salisbury Arts Centre and a visual arts trail between the two venues.

Bank Holiday Monday saw a programme of theatre, dance and circus in Market Square, The Maltings and Old George Mall as well as the moving Boots on the Ground, a promenade performance inspired by stories from World War I that audiences could participate in.

There were also two performances of Howard Moody’s evocative opera Push, sung by the Salisbury Festival Chorus with La Folia Orchestra in a packed St Thomas’s Church.

Wiltshire Creative Artistic Director Gareth Machin said: “Lift Off! was a free party for everyone, a celebration of this creative city and our new organisation as we open the doors for our first season of work. After a difficult few months for Salisbury, we’re delighted so many people were able to be part of what was a spectacular weekend.”

Wiltshire Creative’s new season of programming starts in September with a wide range of theatre, music, comedy and film. Full details of the season are available at or by picking up a brochure from Salisbury Arts Centre or Salisbury Playhouse.

The Lift Off! weekend was supported by Arts Council England, Wiltshire Council, Salisbury City Council, Salisbury BID, Salisbury Cathedral, Raring2Go, Fletcher & Partners, Wiltshire Recovery Co-ordinating Group and Without Walls, the UK’s largest commissioner of outdoor art. A founding sponsor of Wiltshire Creative is Smith & Williamson.


For press enquiries please contact Lucy Rouse, PR & Communications Officer, on 01722 345166 or

See a selection of images from the weekend on our Flickr stream here

Our Thanks