SaFire Festival

SaFire 2011 – A Festival of Light

 Sa is a Sanskrit letter for "The Soul", so the name of "Sa Fire" refers to the creative fire that is at the heart of North Kesteven communities.  It also links the fire that featured in the events and is a bit of a pun on the precious gem stone, because the villages and their artworks are the jewels in the Spires and Steeples Arts and Heritage Trail.

 The SaFire Festival was the largest project of its kind within the North Kesteven district.  It was made up of a series of events which took place between May and October 2011 all produced and performed by local people from specific village clusters. 

SaFire celebrated the Cultural Olympiad as well as our own local history and heritage.  It took the local stories and re-told them through dynamic lighting, giant puppets, pyrotechnics, dance, music and extravagant performance.

The creative team comprising artsNK, Rhubarb Theatre and a team of artists worked with the villages along the Spires & Steeples Arts and Heritage Trail providing inspiration and passing on skills to create pieces of drama, music, dance and visual art that  picked up on our local history and heritage as well as the values of the Olympic Games.

There were three spectacular events taking place along the Spires & Steeples Arts & Heritage Trail all featuring drama, music, dance as well as a spectacular structures, puppets and flags and telling the local stories that have shaped our villages and landscape.

 Lincoln - Saturday 28 May 2011
The opening ceremony took place at Lincoln Cathedral and Bishops Palace on 28 May, unleashing the impish spirit of creativity. An evening event from 8.30pm – 10.30pm it included shadow puppet theatre, story telling, light installations, music and dance and finished with a fabulous demonstration of glass making and a blacksmith’s forge.  Visitors were enchanted, enthralled and entertained by the spectacular architecture and light.

 Branston Village - Saturday 16 July 2011

This event took the form of a journey reflecting some big themes and local stories. Visitors explored the village and discovered not only the existing artworks along the arts and heritage trail, but new light installations in the church and on the village green as well as the amazing Lumunarium and labyrinth situated on the Pavilion Playing Field off Moor Lane.

Sleaford  - Saturday 29 October 2011

The Best of British was celebrated in Sleaford with stunning performances, dramatic light installations and fine art, along with a multitude of art works, dance, music and film.  Families of all ages “thought it was brilliant” and “totally unlike anything I’ve experienced before”.  St Denys’ Church hosted a powerful piece of visual spectacle by ‘All or Nothing’ star Jennifer Patterson as well as magical music from the specially formed choir.  Traditional and modern dancing by Church Lane School pupils in Navigation Yard led to Eastgate Green where an enormous screen fixed to the wall of The National Centre for Craft & Design showed “Made in Britain” throughout the evening.  This artsNK commissioned film was a snapshot of social history told by local Sleaford people who commented on their “Best of British” moments.

The Oxford and Cambridge boat race and beach scene alongside the river side was an hilarious take on a traditional theme as was the Punch & Judy show at Cogglesford Mill.  There were many surprises for visitors as large spectacle gave way to gentle music, in the Nettles area and on Lollycocks.

The Recreation Ground was certainly lit up by the Fire Garden and the energy and dynamism of Beat Box Ben plus the spectacular fireworks created a fitting finale to Sa Fire.

Go to for more information and images from the Sa Fire Festival