Around the Lake Festival, July 2024


Following the unveiling of Crawley’s Creative Playground’s brand-new town-wide murals, Creative Crawley announces the Creative Playground Summer Season of FREE activity across Crawley culminating in Around the Lake Festival – 

Where – Tilgate Park

When: 13 – 14 July 2024


Co-Directors of Creative Playground, Louise Blackwell and Sophie Eustace commented: “This is going to be a summer of creative fun. Working with Crawley residents, we are bringing the town alive with arts and culture from the six public murals, to the alternative guidebook to Crawley made by 200 local children to a festival that celebrates one of our most cherished natural spaces, there’s something for everyone. We’re also offering ten paid places on a new skills exchange programme for 16 – 30 year olds who want to work in the Creative Industries. Get involved if you can.”

Crawley’s Creative Playground announces the inaugural Around the Lake Festival in Tilgate Park from Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 July 2024. Residents of Crawley and anyone from further afield are invited to experience Tilgate Park in a whole new way with a lineup packed full of live performances, art installations, drop-in-art and more. Visitors to the festival can experience stories on rowing boats, circus in the forest, a new peacock puppet, a special bee colony especially for Crawley, poetry trails, foraging workshops and more. The festival is FREE to attend and fun for all the family.

Around the Lake Festival will feature Luke Jerram’s Crossings, Mimbre’s Weight(Less), and a range of Without Walls outdoor performances and creative workshops to explore Tilgate Park in a whole new way.

Crossings is a new sound installation artwork created by world renowned artist Luke Jerram in collaboration with BBC Radio 4 producer Julian May. Free to experience, audience members are invited to board a rowboat and row out across beautiful Tilgate Lake while listening to eleven audio stories about boats, birds, sounds, the sweet potato, plastic, and especially, people.

Crossings creator, Luke Jerram commented: “I am delighted to bring Crossings to Crawley’s Around The Lake festival and for audiences to experience this artwork on Tilgate Lake – completely for free! To truly celebrate Crawley, a new local story will be added to the audio, marking a moment for this town and community. Reserve your slot online, come on down and listen to our stories.” 

Weight(Less) by Mimbre is a joyful escape from the chaos of everyday life, celebrating the courage it takes to keep on going when times are tough. Blending acrobatics, movement and humour, the show dismantles big problems into moments of laughter and celebrates hope. Mimbre returns to Crawley after a successful performance in Broadfield Barton Shopping Parade, Broadfield as part of Broadfield Arts Festival in 2023.

With six different performances to see and five creative ways to take part; Around The Lake will encourage visitors to explore and celebrate the green spaces of Tilgate Park through seeing, tasting and hearing the park in a whole new way.


Creative Playground is part of the Without Walls network, which brings the best in outdoor arts to towns across England. They are programming 5 shows from their programme, as part of Around The Lake Festival and Saturday Sessions.

As well as the Around the Lake Festival in July, Creative Crawley is continuing to bring creative opportunities to Crawley residents in different neighbourhoods throughout the Summer from public art to events in the two libraries, Crawley folk can find arts and culture on their doorstep throughout the town.

Commissioned by Crawley’s Creative Playground as part of its Summer Season, Crawley’s brand-new murals were officially launched on 9 May and are now available across the town for all to enjoy, with a further mural from artist Jac Seifert, who spent her school years in Crawley, to be launched later this summer in Manor Royal in partnership with the Manor Royal Business Improvement District (BID).

Councillor Sue Mullins, Cabinet Member for Public Engagement and Culture at Crawley Borough Council, said: “It’s wonderful to see our town brought to life with these six public murals. We have a fantastic arts and culture offering in Crawley and we hope these murals inspire people from across the community to get involved.”

Crawley residents can visit Eric MacLennan’s, socially engaged participatory arts project In visible (L)ink which sees artist Eric ‘twin’ small areas of Crawley with an equivalent part around the world. Members of the community can visit Eric in Crawley Library or Broadfield Library, choose an object in the town and share their story with Eric, adding to a growing town map of twinned locations. The results will be shared at Broadfield Arts Festival on Sat 22nd June.

Following the success of the Free Fridays events where the team popped up on a Friday afternoon on shopping parades and community spaces around the town offering free creative activities; Saturday Sessions will take the shape of creative workshops in street art, sound making and headwear creation alongside information sessions about things like how to organise your own events. They will take place at Cherry Lane Adventure Playground, Tilgate Park and Goffs Park this Summer.

The Book of Crawley: a guidebook to the town created by local school children in collaboration with artists Andy Field and Becky Darlington. Launched on 24 April at the Town Hall, the book is part fictional imagining, part actual guidebook, and is an opportunity for adults to see and experience Crawley through the eyes of some of its youngest inhabitants. The Book is available to collect for FREE from a range of locations across Crawley – including Crawley Library, Town Hall, and Museum – for the duration of  the Summer Season.

The programme also includes an offer for local primary schools, bringing Ancient Giants by Inspirate in partnership with Brighton Festival and The Playground Tour from The Place, London which includes Olive Branch… Playground Edition by Vanhulle Dance Theatre and Mughal Miniatures: The Elephant and The Drummer by Sonia Sabri Company.


Around the Lake Festival is supported by Arts Council England and Crawley Borough Council. Crossings by Luke Jerram was originally commissioned by Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park.

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