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Rugby's ready to go live

RUGBY Live, a free online festival celebrating music, art and heritage, takes place this weekend.

Rugby Live
Courthouse perform at this weekend's Rugby Live online festival. Published Monday, 27th July 2020

Organised to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, the festival includes live performances by the best bands from the borough and beyond, including Courthouse, Anomaly, The Estates and We Are Giants.

The Rugby Live line-up also features sets from solo artists such as Lorna Dea, Ollie Hayes and Anthony Gliddon, with all acts broadcasting live from the Benn Hall.

Between live music acts, the festival programme includes a series of pre-recorded performances showcasing dance, poetry, painting, spoken word, theatre and the town's history.

The line-up includes Creep Dance, Five Star Theatre, Horizon Dance, artists from Warwickshire Open Studios and a demonstration by Jess Illustrates.

Rugby photographer Jamie Gray explores the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in My Town in Lockdown, while film footage of the town's recent Black Lives Matter protests, together with poetry inspired by the movement, capture recent, significant chapters in the borough's social history.

And Rugby Art Gallery and Museum dips into its own film archives to give festival viewers a chance to watch Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid and Claudette Johnson talk about the ideas and inspiration behind work which propelled both artists to the forefront of Britain's Black Arts Movement.

Rugby Live's heritage highlights also include a celebration of the town's historic status as the birthplace of the game, with films from the World Rugby Hall of Fame library and footage from the town's official Rugby World Cup 2015 fanzone.

Jo Bailey, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum's arts development officer, said: "The entire team was determined to mark the venue's 20th anniversary despite the problems presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

"With the support of the borough's artistic community, we're looking forward to launching Rugby Live and showcasing the diverse artistic talent we have on our doorstep."

The Rugby Live online festival runs from Friday to Sunday (31 July to 2 August), with the live stream starting at 2pm each day.

Line-ups and the live stream can be found at

Cllr Jill Simpson-Vince, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for growth and investment, said: "Rugby Art Gallery and Museum has worked to support and showcase the borough's artistic talent for 20 years, and the team has worked hard to carry on this work through lockdown by developing a wide range of innovative online content.

"Rugby Live has brought together a diverse line-up of musicians, artists, performers and creatives, and we're looking forward to going live online this weekend."

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