The show must go on – Ageing Well Festival @Home 2020

By David Gledhill, Marketing & Communications Lead

In just a few weeks time, Ageing Well Torbay is going to try something we have never tried before – a virtual celebration of ageing.

When we came up with the idea it seemed easy enough – what could possibly go wrong? But as the big day approaches the team is becoming increasingly nervous.

We were determined not to be beaten by coronavirus, but realised very quickly that our original plan to hold a festival indoors at the Riviera Centre in Torquay in what we hoped would be an even more successful event than last year when around 2,000 people passed through the doors was out of the question.

It goes without saying that bringing people together in large numbers is a no no for the foreseeable future and we also recognise that in the light of the latest Government guidance that our hope to stage the festival next Spring is also a non starter.

Who knows when we might all be able to get together again but that is why our plans for a virtual festival to be broadcast on the original date of Saturday, October 24th are more important than ever.

We hope to be able to stream lots of content from here on our website, whilst simultaneously broadcasting via Torbay’s very own community radio station, Riviera FM 107.9, all between the hours of 10 in the morning and three in the afternoon.

Over the last few months, we have been out and about armed with video cameras and sound recording equipment capturing just some of the talent that you would normally expect to see at one of our festivals.

As usual there is a mix of music, dance, talks, arts crafts, exercise classes and sports which we hope you will enjoy and even participate in from the comfort of your own home.

This year we have also added a few things that we would not normally be able to showcase including a guided tour of the little gem that is the Brixham Battery tucked away on the edge of the town above Fishcombe Cove.

We are still working on the exact timings, and you will have to provide your own refreshments,  but we are hoping that instead of us all being under one roof, then the festival, appropriately called @Home will be enjoyed under roofs in houses across the Bay.

Just to give you a flavour of what is to come, we have recorded more than 20 performances for you to enjoy – many live from the stage at the Palace Theatre in Paignton

What festival would be complete without Ann George ramping up the rhythm at one of her dance and exercise classes? so make sure you are ready to whirl around your lounge to some of your favourite tunes.

The fantastically talented Maggie Duffy brings you her own unique blend of song and storytelling, whilst another festival regular Brenda Loosemore weaves together tales about the Queen.

We have always strived to bring you a cornucopia of things to see and do with an emphasis on things to try and things to learn or simply things to watch, and this year will be no different.

We are grateful to John Ball from Paignton Bowling Club who took to the green in bright sunshine to bring us a lesson in how to play – hopefully it might inspire you to have a go yourself?

Jeff Sleeman and his improv group who are regulars on the seafront at Preston kindly allowed us to film one of their sessions in the open air where they tackled a variety of subjects with sometimes hilarious results.

Additionally we have a performance from Twogetherness, talks from the inimitable, Kevin Dixon who takes us on a tour of the pubs of Torquay as well as reminding us of a host of famous writers who hail from the Bay.

Make sure you are wearing something comfortable on the day, because you will be invited to join yoga classes given by our very own Victoria Campbell or Jenni Adams from Paignton or a Tai Chi class from Torquay’s Lisa Kay.

We have most of the content in the can, all we need now is you. Please save the date,  Saturday October 24th and make a note to join us between 10am and 3pm either online at or on the radio – Riviera FM 107.9.

And please – help spread the word.