Walkabouts are Working

13 days ago

Walkabouts 2

Walkabouts are Working
The world of live entertainment is currently restricted due to COVID 19. However, over the last few
months event organisers across the country have been taking small leaps of faith and bringing
walkabouts to the people. 
 
Walkabouts are safe
The acts have been re-working their performances and are able to bring them to the streets in
socially distanced ways.  With signs and masks and comedy routines they engage and entertain but
keep their distance all the time.
 
The acts keep moving.
Walkabout acts keep moving so there is no time to gather a crowd.  A typical walkabout can cover
up to a mile in a 45 minute session.  In that time they can meet and engage with a lot of people,
giving them a moment of joy to take home and remember.
 
The public are respectful
Wherever the performers go the public are overjoyed to see them and the artists are inspired by the
warmth of the reception.  People who are out and about are already observing social distancing and
watching how their children engage. Some acts have even said that they felt safer in costume than
when walking around in their own home towns.  People are eager for live entertainment and already
instinctively understand how to stand back and watch.
 
People are delighted
Many of our acts are already designed to work best  at a distance with huge costumes, stilts, colour
and vibrant images.  So when everybody stands back they are even more enjoyable.  After months of
being home or engaging through screens people are overjoyed to see real live entertainment again.
 
Walkabouts are easy to stage
Risk assessments have been re-worked, safety procedures have been put in place, masks, sanitisers
and sprays are on board and our acts are flexible, adaptable and ready to work with the new
regulations and safe performance spaces. Many of them are completely self-contained and can even
turn up and change from their own vehicles if required.  The infrastructure you need to provide is
minimal.
 
Communities can share something
Some will see the performances and share their stories.  Friends and neighbours will hear all about it
and people will feel that in their town something happened beyond the day-to-day monotony of
getting through the pandemic.   Something special occurred and that is what people will remembe 


 What They Said
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we had to cancel our major events in Watford over the summer.
Fortunately Fool’s Paradise provided us with the option of bringing some cheer to the town centre,
all of which was performed following the government and our own guidelines on social distancing –
they also provided their own risk assessments. We were able to work with Fool’s Paradise to
schedule a variety of performances, all of which were incredibly well received by the Watford
community.”
Lewis Butler
Arts Development & Events Officer
Watford Borough Council

"What did we learn? We learned that these are difficult times but by being creative and thoughtfully
managing the risks, you can be defiant and can produce art for people to see and be part of,
to engage in and enjoy. We learned to be a little less frightened, to be respectful of the dangers, yes,
but a little less frightened nonetheless. And above all, we learned to trust artists who know their
craft and who are desperate to get out and do what they do best - perform.”
Neil Kitson
Chair,
Arts Fresco Market Harborough

“We were very lucky that Darlington Council decided to use us and others to help animate their
town centre when lockdown eased in early July.  The feedback from the public, press and shop
owners was so positive that the council decided to extend the programme until the end of October.
Walkabouts are by their nature Covid secure and bring a touch of much needed normality back to
the high street.”
Garry Gifford
Bread and Butter Theatre

“The response to my mini concerts was fantastic. The people of Watford loved the unexpected
serenades, the comedic interactions, the surprising tunes that can come out of a violin - ACDC
outside Argos, Beethoven outside Barclays, Stevie Wonder outside Santander, and Wagner outside
Wetherspoons. I play walking around, so can social distance like anyone. Watford smiled, laughed,
sang, and danced to the music - it was joyous!”
Adrian Garratt
Sid Bowfin

“We have been working with local authorities and producing work over the summer. Markmark took
five walkabout shows to Market Harborough in early September. The idea was to use characters,
comedy and entertainment to engage the community whilst respecting distances and safety. It was
more viable, more successful, more enjoyable and perhaps more vital than ever.”
Quote from a lady in Market Harborough square
‘Oh fun!’ she said. ‘That’s just what we need. We need more fun!’
Mark Tillotson
Markmark Productions

 

If you want to talk to us about trying something out, maybe an act local to you to start things off in a
simple way or perhaps something large and colourful stop people in their tracks, then please do get
in touch by email or call us on 01392 833818 or 07966 368833
 
Meanwhile, do take a look at our COVID-19 statement and Suggested Checklist on our website