Ipswich: Festival map based on The Legend of Zelda goes global

Zelda style map for Switch Fringe festival

Zelda style map for Switch Fringe festival - Credit: Archant

A music and arts festival celebrating talent in Ipswich has found a very different way to showcase its map of venues – and it’s gone global.

Now in its second year, Switch Fringe, which is being launched tonight, consists of a fortnight of music, comedy, film, and performances, in various venues across the town.

One of the organisers, Ric Hardacre, who works under the alter ego audiovisual artist name of The Decibel Kid, was tasked with creating a map and came up with the idea of basing it on a Nintendo computer game, The Legend of Zelda.

Since posting it on a computer user forum, it has been re-posted around the global, with tweets from people as far as Venezuela, and a news story about it has been featured on the Huffington Post website.

Amy Wragg, the festival’s director, said: “It has gone viral. We asked Ric to come up with a map and he came back with this. It has such amazing detail, like people flying kites and the owl in Christchurch park.”

The map fits in with this year’s theme of the festival, ‘Reimagining Ipswich’, which is all about inspiring people to see the town in a different way. Mr Hardacre, a software developer from Ipswich, added: “I was a bit surprised with the reaction to it. The idea just popped in my head. I thought it would be a video game design but the idea of it being from Zelda came a bit later. I am proud of it – it took me about two weeks to do.”

This year’s Fringe has attracted bigger acts, some of whom are performing shows for the first time, and has widened its remit to include other areas of the arts.

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Among the events are guerilla gardening, whereby people have been planting seeds in random places, which will later turn into beautiful flowers, Poetree walks in Spring wood, a Craftanoon, and performances from bands such as hip hop poetry act Dead Poets, and acoustic folk pop group Dumbfoundus and Feral Mouth.

Mr Hardacre said: “We want to highlight the extraordinary talent within the town. We have a lot of young and creative people here.”

Half of the events are free, and the rest have been kept at low cost, with the most expensive show being £10.

Miss Wragg, who lives in Ipswich, explained: “Most of the people I know are not well off, especially with the recession, and I believe the arts and entertainment should be accessible to everyone. It’s about celebrating the talent we have here. I think Ipswich has an amazing music and arts scene but people outside of here do not really know about it.

“Our mission is to bring some incredible national musicians and artists to Ipswich, whilst highlighting the exceptional levels of local creativity that happens here all year round.

“Next year we want to expand it even more so would be looking for more people to join the committee.”