Pound Arts in Corsham has launched Blue Sky & Beyond, an exclusively online festival featuring comedy, music, theatre, spoken word, workshops and visual artists.

“Over the past seven weeks, the Pound Arts team has been working really hard to stay connected to our local community by gathering a weekly roundup of online events that they can enjoy,” said Pound Arts Marking Officer, Jonathan Mansfield. “It has been important to us and to our customers that they still have regular access to these experiences. With that in mind, rather than miss out on our annual Blue Sky summer festival, we decided to create Blue Sky & Beyond, and host the entire festival online.”

“In Lockdown, music, books and other forms of storytelling have kept me sane,” added Pound Arts Director, Russ Tunney. “In short, art has kept me sane. I am sure it is the same for everyone. We can’t bring art in person to our wonderful communities at the moment but with Blue Sky & Beyond we will bring it digitally and give people some memorable escapist moments to savour.”

Pound Arts will welcome back some festival favourites from previous years, as well as a host of new artists.

Record-breaking beatboxer SK Shlomo has launched a new project to help kids in quarantine and raise money for NHS Charities Together in the process. Homeskool Beatbox Adventures is a weekly live-streamed interactive show (from Shlomo’s Facebook) empowering kids and their families to find their true voices and create their own music.

The critically lauded contemporary folk singer Rachael Dadd returns via live Facebook broadcast to deliver an exclusive set. There will also be a music ‘stage’ featuring Pound Arts favourites, Broken Bones Matilda, Chloe Foy, Emily Barker, Lo Barnes, Mary Spender, Nuala Honan, The Little Unsaid, Tiny Ruins, and many more incredible musicians sharing beautiful songs from their homes.

Big Fish Little Fish

If you are more of a bass-hunter, the world’s original family ravers and now pioneers of virtual kitchen raves Big Fish Little Fish will invite you in for an afternoon of absolute bangers.

Rounding off the festival, on the Sunday you are invited to come and listen to poets and lose yourself amongst this selection of incredible wordsmiths, thinkers, dreamers and Pound Arts’ friends. John Hegley, John Osborne, Liv Torc, Luke Wright, Molly Naylor, Rosy Carrick & Toby Thompson will be amongst those that feature.

Other events include: Cloudscapes by Gobbledegook Theatre, a piece that has been re-developed specifically for audiences to experience during lockdown: a moment to sit outside, look up to the sky and listen to stories told by Lorna Rees. Drag Queen Story Hour UK with Aida H Dee. Rock the Tots (a firm favourite of local pre-schoolers and their families). The Merry Maker (aka Arj Manuelpillai), poet and artist, who will rap a merry rhyme round selected topics with input from the community.

Creative activities include: Cut-out and colour your own paper version of your town in Fold Your Town by Anna Bruder & A Line Art or take part in a virtual community exhibition, Share Your Sky.

Blue Sky & Beyond is supported by Arts Council England, Corsham Town Council, Haine & Smith Opticians and Wiltshire Council. All Blue Sky & Beyond events will be free, however donations – in lieu of tickets – can be made by texting BLUESKYto 70970 to donate £5.

For more information on Blue Sky and Beyond and the full line-up of events please visit blueskyfestival.org.uk.