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Arches Festivals Worcester

From January 2019 to March 2023 David was the Artistic Director of  The Arches Worcester Project.

Over the four years, the festivals team under David's direction  produced four Light Nights, In Memoriam, by Luke Jerram, Same But Different, Atmosphere and The Rising festivals.

The festivals programme engaged with over 200,000 people, employed 145 artists and arts organisations, presented 180 performances, worked with over 1,000 community participants, created 19 graduate employment opportunities and engaged with 250 volunteers.

The Festivals

Light Night

Light Night Worcester was the first of the Worcester festivals and opened in January 2020.


David directed, curated and programmed a total of four Light Nights during his time as Artistic Director. Light Nights premiered several pieces of international work, and the audience base grew from 5,000 attendees to 25,000 in just 4 years.


Atmosphere was a weekend festival themed to connect audiences to the natural world and wellbeing.


The festival featured live music, walk about work, large scale aerial work and a programme of talks and workshops all connected with the core themes of the festival.

Same but Different

Same But Different was a large scale city wide festival which took place over a full week during the summer of 2021.


The festival included a range of works including large scale installations on the roof tops of iconic buildings in the city. Over 100,000 people engaged with the festival.


The Rising

The Rising was a festival specifically design with, and for young people in the city, with co-developed programming themes including Gaming, Fashion and Tattooing. 


The Rising took place in non-conventional spaces including basements and empty shop buildings. The programming was developed with The Rising Voice, a group of 18- 25 year olds from the city who worked with David on everything from themes, to content to branding and marketing.


David's Role

As Festivals Director David was the creative and artistic lead for the festivals programme and artistically directed and developed the entire Festivals Programme.

Leading a small, dedicated team of producers, marketing staff, administrators and a range of freelance staff in order to produce a programme of work that inspired audiences, whilst raising the profile of the arts sector within the city. The programme made a significant difference to Worcester’s cultural offer and engaged a wide and varied audience.

David's role included sourcing and curating the artistic programme that incorporated a diverse, high quality, professional range of artforms. He directed a Festivals programme that embraced the local cultural landscape and offered inspiring and innovative approaches to performance.

Annabel Jackson - Lead Evaluator

"David is an outstanding artistic director who has managed to create exceptional and value for money festivals that engaged and retained audiences in Worcester, without compromising his artistic vision of site-specific, fun, challenging and beautiful work that inspired local people to see their city anew.."

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