By David Gledhill, Marketing & Communications Lead
Once again, the Ageing Well Torbay Festival is going online to bring you the best of the Bay’s talent to a computer screen or radio near you.
It is the second year in a row that we have been forced to retreat from the cavernous halls of the Riviera Centre in Torquay in favour of a digital edition, but we feel it is still too early to bring thousands of potentially vulnerable people together under one roof.
Instead, we are aiming to come together, virtually, under hundreds, if not thousands of roofs across the Bay with the 2021 AWT @Home Festival.
We may have lowered our ambitions in terms of a large face to face gathering, but our aspirations to bring you the very best of entertainment from local entertainers has not diminished one bit.
Like last year, we are teaming up with community radio station Riviera FM on 107.9 to broadcast over four hours to mark the World Health Organisation’s International Day of Older Persons on Friday, October 1st.
Make a note in your diary now – Friday, October 1st from 10am until 2pm.
We are already assembling a cornucopia of gems to keep you glued to your screens with videos, podcasts, live chat on Riviera FM and as much information and fun as we can cram into 240 minutes.
There are old favourites (not in age) like Anne George who we videoed this week leading a fabulous Move it or Lose it class with a class of enthusiasts doing their stuff in the Palace Theatre in Paignton.
At the opposite end of the scale, we have the relaxed vibes of Lisa Kay, whose Tai Chi class is a regular feature on parks and green spaces around the Bay, including, in this case, Torre Abbey Meadows.
We like to think we have got better at filming and recording in the 12 months since we rushed together, through necessity, our very first virtual festival during the second lockdown of 2020, and we have learned to keep the content shorter and hopefully pithier.
What festival would be complete without some talks by Torbay’s top historian, Kevin Dixon who gets through the dry facts and paints a picture in words of what life was really like way back as well as evoking memories of more recent times of Torbay in its heyday.
Additionally, we have health advice from various experts, including Dementia nurse specialist, Jonathan Hanbury on How to Beat Dementia and the Healthy Lifestyles Team on breathing and lung capacity and exercise, among others.
If you haven’t yet heard of the Torbay Velovets, then slip into your lycra and clip your shoes into your pedals as we join them for their twice-monthly energetic sprint around the velopark next to the Torbay Leisure Centre.
There is, of course, lots of music with an endearing film from Music @The Edge in Brixham whose members have managed to keep on singing and playing throughout lockdown to great effect.
Then there are the incredible and joy-inducing tunes belted out by the Torquay Rock Choir. Irrepressible, whether on a ferry to France, taking part in live rock sessions over zoom or meeting up for the first time face to face after 16 months of lockdown.
Maggie Duffy, the humorous and so very talented singer-songwriter from Brixham makes another return visit to regale us with folk tales from around the county either in song, poetry or prose accompanying herself on guitar.
Unfortunately, Brenda Loosemoore didn’t make the final cut last year because of technical issues, but we are ever so grateful that she has agreed to come back this year to deliver her very own brand of reminiscences and anecdotes, acted out on the stage.
And speaking of stages, one of the most famous and certainly most ambitious theatre groups in the Bay, the South Devon Players have made us a video of some of their work with excerpts from past productions. Watch for just a few minutes and it is easy to see why they are international award winners.
And that is just the story so far. As they say in the parlance, there is plenty more to get in the can, and we cannot wait to share it with you on the day – that date again, Friday, October 1st from 10am to 2pm on www.ageingwelltorbay.com or on 107.9 with Riviera FM.