My View, Elaine Hirst: Taking over Doncaster town centre

DNweekeND in Doncaster.  Lucy Hayes (seven) from Warmsworth with Jonny Dixon from Pif-Paf try out the Flycycle.   Picture: Malcolm Billingham
DNweekeND in Doncaster. Lucy Hayes (seven) from Warmsworth with Jonny Dixon from Pif-Paf try out the Flycycle. Picture: Malcolm Billingham

We are looking forward to taking over Doncaster town centre next month for a weekend of cultural events and activities.

The second DNweekeND will be bigger and better than last year’s event with surprises round every corner.

From the Frenchgate Centre to the Waterdale Centre and Nigel Gresley Square, Market Place to the Mansion House and many places in between the town centre will be a hive of creative activity.

Taking place from June 19 to 21 this festival of arts will take over public spaces, arts venues, shop units and shopping centres – indoors and outdoors – for one weekend only.

In 2014 more than 8,000 people from across the borough joined in with DNweekeND.

And this year we have some of Doncaster’s best local artists and groups plus national and international acts bringing their work to our town.

This cultural explosion will light up the streets, inside and outside, for three days.

It will be showcasing an eclectic mix of music, theatre, dance, installations, art, poetry, circus and spectacle over that period.

Empty and unused shop units will be transformed into quirky spaces and this year we are working with Doncaster businesses to bring something extra special to the weekend – from cosy one-person performances in a cafe to yarn-bombing market stalls and dancing in pubs!

Historic Doncaster spaces will also be transformed into performance venues.

The Mansion House will be opening its doors to performances of new writing from playwright Richard Hurford who has been working with local writers to create responses to the town centre and the marketplace will be host to No Fit State who will be kicking off their international tour right here in Doncaster with their quirky and vibrant street circus show Open House.

The Doncaster Big Sing will bring together singers from across the borough to preview a brand new composition inspired by the history and future of Doncaster.

In total more than 50 acts will be transforming the town from the Frenchgate Centre to Sir Nigel Gresley Square, with the venues ranging from intimate one-to-one performances to large-scale theatrical performances, from walkabout interactive street performance, to chilled-out hammocks by the world music stage, the DNweekeND promises a weekend to remember here in our home town.

We do hope that people from across our town will come along and take part in this fantastic free event.

It is for all the family and will show just how creative Doncaster can be.