AERIAL is the Lake District’s inno­v­a­tive new fes­ti­val of orig­i­nal work and com­mis­sions – online and free from 26 Sep­tem­ber 2020

  • Over 20 new works and com­mis­sions from over 40 artists will be acces­si­ble online and for free via from 26th September

This was intend­ed to be Aerial’s inau­gur­al year but like all oth­er live events, live per­for­mance, espe­cial­ly in the con­fines of inti­mate vil­lage venues, is now impossible.

Aer­i­al has adapt­ed, can­celled all live shows and used this unique sit­u­a­tion as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to focus on the even­t’s core pur­pose – a com­mit­ment to com­mis­sion­ing amaz­ing artists to make new work and ask­ing them to respond to the nat­ur­al, social and cul­tur­al his­to­ry of the Lake Dis­trict and Cum­bria. All tick­et hold­ers have been offered either full refunds or the oppor­tu­ni­ty to donate the price of the tick­et to local foodbanks.

On Sat­ur­day 26th Sep­tem­ber Aer­i­al will release these com­mis­sions online for free for every­one to enjoy, host­ed at It will, over time, become an exten­sive archive of new work com­mis­sioned by the festival.

Sup­port­ed by Great Place Lakes and Dales an NLHF and ACE fund­ed pro­gramme, this sig­nif­i­cant body of work will fea­ture new music from Kendal-born, ex-Wild Beast and Aer­i­al artist-in-res­i­dence Hay­den Thor­pe, includ­ing 2020 a spe­cial­ly com­mis­sioned piece cre­at­ed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Deepthroat Choir.

Natal­ie Sharp AKA Lone Taxi­der­mist is also an artist in res­i­dence. Hail­ing from Cumbria’s west coast she is return­ing home to explore her upbring­ing through a series of short films, reflect­ing on life as a first gen­er­a­tion immi­grant in small town Cumbria. 

Pre­lude 2020 is a series of com­mis­sions ask­ing artists to respond to the tumul­tuous events of 2020 inspired in part by Wordsworth’s epic poem The Pre­lude and the Wordsworth 250 cel­e­bra­tions. Aer­i­al has part­nered with The Qui­etus to offer five com­mis­sions to artists work­ing in sound fea­tur­ing Tom Fox and Nick Mur­ray, Rob Walk­er, Virid­i­an Ensem­ble, Alice Jones and Hawthonn.

Caught By The Riv­er present words and sounds includ­ing Stu­art Maconie on his own expe­ri­ences climb­ing the moun­tains of the Lakes and pay­ing trib­ute to Har­ry Grif­fin. Author Roy Wilkin­son will talk about grow­ing up in Kendal and the start of his broth­ers’ group, British Sea Pow­er. The UK’s fore­most field record­ing artist Chris Wat­son presents Lake Dis­trict record­ings from his archives. There will also be new record­ings from Jack Coop­er (Mod­ern Nature) and con­tri­bu­tions from author Helen Mort.

Aer­i­al has also part­nered with The Wil­lowherb Review, a jour­nal ded­i­cat­ed to diver­si­ty in nature writing,to com­mis­sion five writ­ers, with new work from Pratyusha, Jen­nifer Neal, Kaliane Bradley, Aman­da Thom­son and Karen Lar­bi.

Sound of Silence will be a series of sound works from artists with deep con­nec­tions to Cum­bria all respond­ing to the Lakes in lock­down. Com­mis­sioned through an open call, it will see new work from Andrew Tom­lin­son, Tay­lor Nut­tall & Emma Nut­tall, Pol­ly Atkin & Will Smith, Michael Den­ny & Simon Sylvester and Jack McNeill.

The Dark Out­side presents The Da-Dark Out­side; a one-off 24hr online radio broad­cast fea­tur­ing sounds and music no-one has ever heard (or will hear again) with a con­scious lean to the weird, exper­i­men­tal and left field inspired by the lega­cy of artist Kurt Schwitters.

Cor­bel Stone Press cel­e­brate their 10th anniver­sary with con­tri­bu­tions of music and films from Richard Skel­ton and Autumn Richard­son and spo­ken word from many of their acclaimed poets and writ­ers, includ­ing Pene­lope Shut­tle, Ger­ry Loose, Andy Hop­kins, Peter O’Leary, Hele­na Hunter and Mark Peter Wright

For all events go to Aer­i­al festival

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