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Count Me In for the Cultural Olympiad - 23 to 25 Sept

  • Date: 19 September 2011
  • Area: South West
Dinosaurs Not Allowed

Dinosaurs Not Allowed. Credit: Terry Tratt

Count me in is a region-wide celebration of music, dance and outdoor arts developed for the Cultural Olympiad in the run up to London 2012. 

The third annual Count Me In will take place this year from 23 to 25 September and marks the countdown to the end of Games Time in 2012.  This mass participation event is also open to all ages and all cultural organisations across the south west, with a focus on promoting young peoples' engagement with music, dance and street arts. Once again, the initiative has been awarded the prestigious not-for-profit Inspire Mark, which recognises events inspired by the London2012 Games.

This year's Count Me In weekend includes The Big Sing 2011, which takes place on 25 September and is presented by the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Poole Lighthouse. The Big Sing is open to anyone who loves singing, for all ages and experience. Participants will spend the day as part of a massed choir, rehearsing Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, with the performance open to the public.

Dinosaurs Not Allowed is a Youth Traditional English Dance Showcase displaying the breadth and variety of Morris traditions and takes place on 24September in Weymouth. Seven morris teams from across the region aged 5-25, will showcase for the first time this year along the pedestrian areas of Weymouth town and harbour. Tasters in at least three dance traditions will be offered at various times throughout the day.

The Big Noise Street Band weekend will take place from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 September in Taunton. This celebration of outdoor music launches a new Street Band for Somerset. The Big Noise is a new band for wind, brass and percussion inspired by street music from around the world and by our own outdoor music traditions. The weekend will feature a concert by the street band Tongues of Fire at the Albermarle Centre, Albermarle Rd, Taunton at 8pm on Friday 23, and a street band workshop to start the new band at 11am on Sunday 25 September at The Brewhouse, Taunton.  Please contact timhill@thrivesomerset.org for further information.

Superact's Bandstand Marathon aims to get as many bands as possible performing on bandstands throughout the UK, all at the same time. The event celebrates local amateur musical talent; reflecting the amateur athletes who will be participating in the 2012 Games. It also makes use of the many historic bandstands that adorn our local parks and town centres. The music played by the bands will cross many genres, from current popular music, rock classics, music from films and shows, jazz and swing, as well as more traditional tunes. The events take place on 25 September.

An afternoon of participatory wordplay will take place on Saturday 24 September from 2pm to 5pm at Belstone Village Hall, near Okehampton, Devon. The event celebrates the completion of Wordquest's Storytrail with a day of word games ranging from WINGO (word bingo) to favourite word poetry.

Since July, walkers on Dartmoor have been taking part in a treasure hunt and a creative writing task rolled into one. Five boxes were hidden on a 1.5 mile circular route on Belstone Common, and a map and clues directed walkers on how to find them. Each box held a book containing a story in progress. After finding a box, participants added a sentence or two to the narrative in the story, in the manner of 'chain stories'. 

The afternoon will end with readings from the Storytrail books.  The Belstone Players will also be reading from much-loved Devon literary works.

The event is free, but please RSVP to wordquest@auneheadarts.org.uk so that the right amount of tea and cakes are available!