The Stockton Riverside Festival (or SIRF for short) is something that I have had the privilege of being connected to for over twenty years. My first involvement was in 1995 where I was approached to edit together some video clips that ended up being projected inside an old derelict church, so I went along to see the final results, and ended up becoming a life long SIRFer (an epithet that I have made up to cover the fans of SIRF that visit every year, including people from around the globe).
The fact that Stockton-on-Tees, a small northern working class town, becomes the home of some of the most amazing street performers, dancers, and theatre groups is something to behold and makes me proud not only to work on it but also to live in the borough itself.
Since 2006 I’ve also had the opportunity to film the festival in a professional capacity and had a chance to witness nearly all of the shows both big and small, through my camera lens.
Each year the team behind SIRF brings everything together to produce a show that lasts over 4 days and 4 nights, that leaves the audience entertained and enthralled. This year was no exception, with each piece seeming to slot together perfectly, from a walk-about D&D session to a spectacular dance piece based around what looked like the ’Stargate’, with a huge finale from a French outfit Cirkvost.
I could carry on singing the praises of SIRF (and if you have the unfortunate occurrence to meet me and SIRF comes up in the conversation I will bore you to tears about how great it is, promise) but the best thing is to take a look at my film about this years festival.