Organisers of Derby Festé have joined forces with Derby Cathedral to present a breathtaking touring attraction to the city in the run up to the city’s popular annual arts festival.

‘Museum of the Moon’ is a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram and will be installed in the majestic Derby Cathedral for visitors to enjoy in the run up to and throughout Derby Festé which will return to the city street on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th September.

Measuring seven metres in diameter, the moon features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. At an approximate scale of 1:500,000, each centimetre of the internally lit spherical sculpture represents 5km of the moon’s surface.

The installation is a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award-winning composer Dan Jones.

Although ‘Museum of the Moon’ will be open to the public from 16th September 2019, the installation will take on new meaning as part of the spectacular Friday afternoon and evening launch of Derby Festé on Friday 27th September.

Marking the 50th anniversary this year of the Apollo 11 moon landings and coinciding with a new moon on Saturday 28th September, the installation is a key element of the Festé theme this year – ‘Space, Moon & Tides’.

Family-friendly Derby Festé has been a key feature in the Derby festivals calendar for the past 13 years. It attracts more than 30,000 visitors to the city centre over the two-festival which features performers from across Europe in a celebration of street entertainment including dance, contemporary circus, music and comedy.

The announcement of ‘Museum of the Moon’ coincides with confirmation of several key performances.

Derby Festé will kick off at 4.30pm on Friday 27th September with a high-energy aerial performance of ‘Splash’ by integrated circus company Extraordinary Bodies on Cathedral Green.

The company is the UK’s leading company that brings together deaf, disabled and non-disabled artists to create bold and radical performances that focus on individual’s abilities and strengths.

Following the performance, at 5.15pm everyone will be invited into Derby Cathedral for a special viewing of ‘Museum of the Moon’.

Visitors will then watch as around 200 young people from local Special Educational Needs (SEND) schools come together to create a choreographed ‘Human Link’ between the Cathedral and the banks of the River Derwent and highlighting the diversity of the city.

The young people will work with artistic director Jen Sumner from inclusive physical theatre company Hubbub to create ‘Human Link’. It will build on the work underway with young people with learning and physical disabilities which is already taking place in city SEND schools as part of This is Derby essential life skills programme.

The finale of Friday evening will feature Dutch company, Close Act, who brought the Rebels (where Mad Max met Jurassic Park) in 2010, the beautiful and enchanting White Wings procession in 2013 and then the giant Saurus parade to the streets of Derby in 2015.

Close Act will parade their giant futuristic silver creatures through the St Peters Quarter and Cathedral Quarter – finishing in the Market Place at 9pm.

The procession will be a taster of Close Act’s Saturday night showcase performance of Close Act’s performance of ‘Malaya’ at Bass’ Recreation Ground which will take the audience through a journey in time moving from dream-like tranquility to explosive nightmares.

Derby Festé is produced and presented by Déda, Derby LIVE, QUAD and Derby Theatre in association with the Without Walls Touring Network Partnership – a project that takes world-class UK outdoor arts to parks, square and high streets across England.

The two-day festival is funded by Arts Council England and Derby City Council with sponsorship from Derby Cathedral, University of Derby, Cathedral Quarter and Intu Derby.

Stephen Munn is the Artistic Lead of Derby Festé and Artistic Director of Déda in Derby which is a nationally-renowned centre for dance, contemporary circus and outdoor performance. Stephen said:

“The ‘Museum of the Moon’ has been met with rave reviews wherever it has toured and we are delighted that this breathtaking and magical installation will be a key focus of this year’s Derby Festé to set the scene for this year’s theme of ‘Space, Moon & Tides’.

“I guarantee that, once seen, visitors will want to return to the Cathedral several times to immerse themselves in the simple wonderment of the moon’s surface which has been captured in amazing detail by artist Luke Jerram.

“The Friday afternoon and evening will bring together all the elements of Festé’s theme – linking the moon with the river and taking visitors to an alien, futuristic world of wonder with the procession which is a definite highlight of Festé every year.

“Our aim is to bring a wide range of superb artists from across the UK and Europe to Derby Festé every September and it is a firm favourite with audiences across the city and beyond.

“We look to bring a new aspect into the Derby Festé programme every year but the constant theme is that this weekend is something that brings everyone together to enjoy a unique atmosphere in the city centre.

“This year will be no exception and we look forward to announcing the full Derby Festé programme in the coming weeks.”

To sign up for the latest news and details of ‘Malaya’ which will be one of two ticketed performances (with all other shows free of charge) – please visit the Derby Festé website or follow on social media.