Luton, with its proud history of people power, is holding a massive free Outdoor Spectacular celebrating exactly 100 years since the Peace Day riots and the burning down of the Town Hall.
Two days of family-friendly entertainment will take place in Luton town centre including a main spectacular at 9pm on 19 July which will be like no other event held in Luton before. The date and time marks 100 years since the people of Luton rioted and burned down the town hall after a lavish banquet was held which left them excluded.
The day will be a celebration of all things Luton with breathtaking performances reflecting the town’s diverse and vibrant communities. From 12 noon families can enjoy rides, food, drink and entertainment in St George’s Square and later in the afternoon talented local artists will perform on a huge stage in front of the town hall. The main event begins at 9pm with a spectacular of dance, music, theatre and incredible projections highlighting Luton’s history of democracy, community action and ‘people power’. The fun will continue on 20 July with more family entertainment.
Cllr Rachel Hopkins, portfolio holder responsible for the arts and culture said: “We are really excited about the People Power Passion outdoor spectacular. It is 100 years since the Peace Day riots and we are marking the event by showcasing local artists and performers reflecting Luton’s fascinating history of people power.
“At 9pm on 19 July 1919 more than 8,000 people gathered in front of the town Hall. At the same time exactly 100 years later I hope to see similar numbers gathered to see a spectacular performance which will highlight our town and our wonderfully diverse communities. This will be an event like no other held in the town before.
“The event is part of Luton’s Pilot Year of Culture and our ambitious plans to transform the town and it promises to be a really exciting, colourful and lively event. We can’t wait for people to come along and celebrate the things we all love about Luton in a safe, family environment”.
Dusna Chauhan, artist said “We are honoured, along with all the other talented performers, to put on a dazzling display of what Luton is all about. From its rich history to multicultural influences we have so much to show and be proud of”.
At council Executive on 25 June 2018 approval was given for a pilot programme to demonstrate the potential of a bid for Luton to become UK City of Culture 2025. This follows the approval two years ago for Luton’s strategic vision for the arts, cultural and creative industries 2017-2027, which included plans for the bid. The aim in the long run is to demonstrate the benefit of culture and creativity as catalysts for regeneration and to encourage ambition and innovation in cultural and creative activity.