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Wheee! - a festival for families providing international arts on the doorstep

Lakeside Arts – the University of Nottingham’s public arts programme - delivers regional, national and international arts experiences to hundreds of thousands of visitors annually

Lakeside Arts’ strong commitment to promoting brilliant cultural experiences for children and families on a year-round basis culminates in the annual Wheee! Festival.  Since 2007, Wheee!’s Free Family Weekend has engaged diverse audiences of more than 44,000 children and their families in a huge range of participatory and audience experiences including a wide range of arts and crafts activities alongside international touring outdoor and street theatre performances.

Wheee! works in partnership with Nottingham-based, global-touring creatives Architects of Air, premiering their new luminaria structures of iridescent colour and light prior to world tours.  Almost 90,000 Nottingham people have enjoyed a luminarium experience at Wheee!  representing just a fraction of Lakeside’s cumulative visitor figures which total more than 2 million across the galleries, recital hall, theatre, museum and participatory arts venues.

Girl in wheelchair plays on a swing

In 2019 Wheee! toured 5 city libraries with Strange Creatures, a new chamber music theatre project developed by Nottingham-based MishMash Productions in collaboration with Nottingham Library Service introducing children aged 4+ to live music experiences.

“Beautiful way of introducing live music to little ones and performing using non-verbal communication.”

Adult attendee.

“The children were transfixed and very moved. To experience music in this fun and relaxing setting was a real privilege.”

Adult attendee.