MOMENTUM is growing as Grantham’s Gravity Fields Festival fast approaches.
With just one week to go until the week-long festival begins, the district council behind it says ticket sales are doing very well, with keynote science speeches selling out fast.
The festival will celebrate Grantham’s famous son Sir Isaac Newton and has been funded by South Kesteven District Council, which hopes to put Grantham on the map to attract investors.
Leader of the council Councillor Linda Neal said it might feature science and arts but the main focus is on fun for local families.
She added: “We believe there is something for everyone and the transformation of the town next Friday night (September 28) will see processions through Grantham town centre, fire pendulums in the Market Place, a light projection on St Wulfram’s Church spire and an amazing aerial event using a crane on St Peter’s Hill by Cirque Bijou, who were involved in the opening ceremony for London 2012.
“The Friday night event is completely free and I don’t think Grantham will have ever seen anything like it.
“Shops have agreed to stay open late, we’ve got local high quality food stalls, and fairground rides will demonstrate 3G and Newton’s famous law of gravity.
“I’m sure it’s going to be a really great evening.”
SKDC has ploughed £75,000 of funding into putting on Gravity Fields for two years, with an additional £65,000 coming in the form of a grant made by the Arts Council. SKDC contracted the role of festival director to Rosa Productions.
It is hoped the festival will entice potential visitors and investors to the town, and it seems to be working as postcode analysis shows bookings are coming in from as far afield as London, Bristol, the North East and the North West.
Councillor Frances Cartwright, portfolio holder for economic development, said: “We’ve certainly achieved that with coverage in the Independent newspaper, The Times science magazine, radio stations throughout the region and the Daily Mirror and the Guardian have all agreed to feature us in the run up to the opening day.
“Added to this we have had massive website coverage including on parentdish.co.uk where our event features at number eight in their top 20 places for families to visit in the UK during September and we were also included in the Visit England newsletter which has a distribution list of half a million.”
Schools have not yet taken full advantage of all the festival has to offer.
Coun Cartwright said: “Tickets for the family shows are going quickly although we are still keen for primary and secondary schools to book our Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 experiences now they are back from their summer holiday.
“The events are really exciting and cost just £2 a student. They involve the Science Museum from London, the National Space Centre, Woolsthorpe Manor and our very own Apothecary and Alchemy Laboratory in the centre of Grantham.”
One family show which has sold out is the Science Museum’s Bubble Show on Saturday, September 22, leading organisers to arrange another event to cope with the demand.
Keynote speeches which have proved popular include the opening talk by former Granthamian and international scientist Professor Valerie Gibson, and Astronomer Royal and former President of the Royal Society Professor Martin Rees.