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It’s time to burn bad news! Festival to set fire to negative headlines

Fatma Boharali enjoying her time creating crafts for the SPILL Festival that will be on display during the Pyre Parade.

Picture: Nick Butcher

Fatma Boharali enjoying her time creating crafts for the SPILL Festival that will be on display during the Pyre Parade. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

With political rows, austerity and the loss of much-loved celebrities in recent years, there has certainly been plenty of bad news to get us down.

Jessica McFarlane with her daughter Sylvi, creating crafts for the SPILL Festival that will be on display during the Pyre Parade.
Picture: Nick ButcherJessica McFarlane with her daughter Sylvi, creating crafts for the SPILL Festival that will be on display during the Pyre Parade. Picture: Nick Butcher

But Ipswich’s popular SPILL Festival is urging people to take a possibly therapeutic solution to the negative headlines of modern times - by burning the news that angers and upsets us the most.

Organisers of the international festival of live art and performance have organised a dramatic Pyre Parade for this year’s celebration.

An effigy has been placed in La Tour Cycle Cafe, which will be unveiled at Ipswich Waterfront on Thursday - and people have been given an opportunity to take a private moment to write down bad news before posting it into a box inside the effigy.

Whether it is global news around Brexit or Donald Trump, something closer to home like the performance of Ipswich Town or more personal bad news, people have been urged to “get it out of your system and into the effigy”.

Fatma and Ibrahim Boharali having fun creating crafts for the SPILL Festival that will be on display during the Pyre Parade.
Picture: Nick ButcherFatma and Ibrahim Boharali having fun creating crafts for the SPILL Festival that will be on display during the Pyre Parade. Picture: Nick Butcher

Organisers added: “Bad debts, health worries, a sour relationship, or colouring in where you went over the edges – whatever the badness, feed the beast.”

After a march including mystical performers and a marching band from Ipswich Waterfront to Christchurch Park at 5pm on Saturday, November 3, the effigy will be engulfed in flames - taking all the bad news sentiment with it.

In a document about the Pyre Parade published ahead of the launch, organisers said: “The Pyre Parade invites anyone who wants to add to the event to write bad news or concerns down.”

They added that they are working with a mental health charity to ensure the whole process is safe.

Fatma and Ibrahim Boharali having fun creating crafts for the SPILL Festival that will be on display during the Pyre Parade.
Picture: Nick ButcherFatma and Ibrahim Boharali having fun creating crafts for the SPILL Festival that will be on display during the Pyre Parade. Picture: Nick Butcher

They had even considered collecting the ashes the following morning and putting them in the water to be washed away.

But they decided: “On reflection, we feel that the fire is point of transformation enough and we do not wish to reactivate any bad news.”

A series of workshops for both adults and children have also been held for people to make their own lanterns, masks, sage burners and effigies before the event.

For more information, on the SPILL Festival of Performance, visit www.spillfestival.com

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