New fun bike event in Ballater

A new fun and inclusive bike festival for all ages and abilities will be taking place in Ballater between Friday 23rd and Sunday 25th September.

The inaugural Thrive Bike is a weekend for mountain and road bikers, as well as non-bikers, to come and enjoy different trails, try out cycles from top brands and test their navigation skills in the Ballater Dash and Reliability Rides. Music and local food are among other highlights including children’s activities and a talk from storyteller and bike adventurer Lee Craigie of The Adventure Syndicate.

The Thrive Bike Team – Andy Lewis, Ben Allum, Richard Watts, Kate Stewart and Susan Allum – wanted to create a festival where everyone could enjoy the benefits of the local environment whilst reflecting the values of responsible tourism. Susan said:

Biking is such an accessible sport, whatever your age or fitness level, and in Scotland, and particularly around us here in the Cairngorms, we have the most stunning trails. Thrive Bike is very much welcoming everyone, bikers and non-bikers, families and those of all abilities, to come and enjoy this beautiful area and a fun weekend full of activities. All of us behind this event know ourselves how good the natural environment is for our wellbeing, and we want to showcase the fantastic trails and scenery we have here but also the local food, hospitality and other brilliant businesses that make Ballater and the East Cairngorms such a great destination.”

The weekend’s activities include guided and self-guided rides, on road, gravel and trails and a chance to demo new bikes from top brands. Test your navigation and route planning skills in the Dash or take the Reliability Ride (26 or 125km) at your own pace, which the elite Alba Development Road Team will be joining, stopping for coffee and cake on the way, before relaxing at the end of the day with the film night or inspiring presentation from Lee Craigie of The Adventure Syndicate.

As well as a children’s play area, climbing wall, stunt show and disco; you can recharge from local food trucks on the greens; learn how to improve your health and wellness from a range of coaches, from foundation and personal training to breathing your way to better health and sports performance; and explore with Grampian Disability Sports how their bikes can open up biking for all abilities.

Learn too about how we can all enjoy the benefits of our outdoor space at the same time protecting the environment for future generations by chatting to Nature Scot and Forestry and Land Scotland.

Entry to Thrive Bike Festival is free, with tickets available for purchase for specific activities. Advance booking is necessary for certain events; demo bikes, guided rides, the talk and film night (full details at Bike hire will be available, but visitors are advised to bring their own where possible.

The Thrive Team’s aspiration is to – over time – build a recognised event of a world class standard, which balances our responsibilities towards the land, landowners, users, flora and fauna, while at the same time aiding the development of mountain biking in the area and protecting the environment for the benefit of current and future generations.

“This is Thrive Bike’s first year,” explains Susan, “And will be the foundation upon which to improve year on year.”

Profits from Thrive Bike will be invested in the local trail network, working with landowners, the Aberdeenshire Trail Association and existing, sanctioned projects. 

Keen mountain biker Andy Lewis, who will also be at the event with his wellbeing business, Highland Breathwork, said:   

This event is exciting as not only is it, genuinely, inclusive, giving everyone at every level a chance to try new trails, bikes and meet like-minded people, but the profits are going back into local bike trails. The better we can make the trail network, the more we can all enjoy being in the outdoors, and make it work for bikers, landowners and locals for all to benefit and enjoy. The fact that the whole event is filled by people and businesses from Aberdeenshire or a connection with Ballater, is what makes it special, as well as knowing that it is so brilliantly run with the environment, community and local growth so front and centre.” 

The event aims to bring adventure tourism back and away from its more common association with extreme adventure races, to allow people of all fitness and ages to enjoy the holistic benefits of being in the outdoors, as well as working Cairngorm National Park and Scottish Disability Sport, to open up the magic and value of the landscapes to different abilities.

Cirque Berserk! Back in the West End

Britain’s biggest theatre-circus spectacular, Cirque Berserk!, brings its record-breaking show back to London’s West End, at The Garrick Theatre from 25 August – 11 September 2021.

The hair-raising and hilarious Cirque Berserk! celebrates its return to the stage, following the cancellation of its performances in March last year due to lockdown restrictions. Combining contemporary cirque-style artistry with adrenaline-fuelled stunt action, the 2021 show features audiences’ favourite Berserk! acts from around the world plus some thrilling new ones. 

A unique collaboration between classical circus artists, some from tenth generation circus families, and a theatrical creative team, Cirque Berserk! is the UK’s biggest and most diverse full-scale circus production created especially for proscenium-arch theatres.

This astoundingly talented international troupe features over thirty acrobats, aerialists and daredevil stuntmen showcasing the finest in traditional circus thrills and skills, including the legendary high-speed motorcycle ‘Globe of Death’. 

The company has performed throughout the UK and internationally and is a regular must-see at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it has established itself as the Fringe’s best-selling show of all time. 

Martin ‘Zippo’ Burton, Cirque Berserk! Founder and Producer said :  

“We are so pleased to be bringing Cirque Berserk! back to the West End this August. It has been a challenging time for most arts organisations, including ours, so we’re pleased to be back on stage doing what we do best – entertaining audiences through ‘hold your breath’ moments and the sheer joy of witnessing the unimaginable. We are so excited to welcome back our audiences to enjoy the slice of culture we offer, but also to welcome new ones! The circus attracts a lot of first-time theatre goers, establishing someone’s love and hunger for live entertainment, which is essential during these times.” 

Cirque Berserk! is entirely non-verbal, and appeals to audiences of all ages. 

Performance includes loud noises, flashing lights, smoke effects and real motorbikes. 


Martin ‘Zippo’ Burton                      Founder and Producer 

Beau Denning                                    Production Director 

Julius Green                                       Creative Director 

Dede McGarrity                                Movement Director 

Sean Cavanagh                                  Set Design  

Dianne Kelly                                      Costume Design 

Mike Robertson                                Lighting Design 

Matthew Bugg                                   Sound Design 

Tickets can be purchased via their box office > Cirque Berserk! The Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0HH, 0330 333 4811 website:

Main image courtesy of Cirque Berserk!

A New Exhibition showcases the best of Bristol Street Art

Vanguard Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement

Vanguard in partnership with Vans presents Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement – an exhibition exploring the instrumental role of Bristol’s creatives in the development of British Street Art, from the 1980s to the present day. 

Immersive installations, many works not seen for many years and new street art works from world famous artists feature in the exhibition. This is a unique chance to see seminal British and Bristol street art works.


The seminal works, notable moments, key events and extraordinary artists belonging to Bristol’s dynamic history are highlighted in this comprehensive and compelling exhibition, which examines the creative response of the city’s pioneering underground scene throughout the UK’s turbulent social and political history and considers the drive for social change underpinning the work of many of today’s street artists.

From anarchist origins in the ‘80s and ‘90s through to the explosion of the scene in the early ‘00s, the exhibition brings together one of the largest collections of original works and memorabilia ever seen in the UK. 

Beyond Bristol, Vanguard explores the evolving disciplines of British and Irish artists moving from the street art conversation to bridge contemporary fields by fusing traditional techniques with new technologies. The exhibition also reflects on how a new generation of global creatives are advocating for social and environmental awareness through art on the streets. 

From bronze sculptures to immersive displays, Vanguard reveals a host of new original pieces, as well as rare and unseen works, including bespoke edits from the iconic filmmakers and photographers who documented the unfolding scene. 

As part of the exhibition, Vanguard will also launch a series of exclusive releases from some of Bristol’s finest creatives, including:

  • An accompanying book featuring worldwide academics, film directors, writers, artists, creatives and specialists reflecting on the evolving momentum of the movement
  • An exclusive album featuring some of the tracks which formed the roots of the world-famous Bristol Sound
  • Artist led merchandise from various artists featured in the exhibition

Outside of the exhibition, Vanguard has partnered with Vans to launch an exciting city-wide, community-based outreach programme running throughout the duration, aligning with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The outreach programme hopes to promote discussion and participation at the intersection of culture and sustainable action and will include art activations, workshops, panels and film screenings.

Exhibition Highlights 

New and unique works by Bristolian, British and international artists include:

  • New and original works from Adam Neate, Andy Council, Antony Micallef, Bill Posters, China Mike, Conor Harrington, Dale VMN Collins (formerly known as Dale Marshall), Dicy, Eko, Feek, Filthy Luker, Inkie, Lucas Price, Lucy McLauchlan, Matt Small, Mau Mau, Mr Jago, Paris, Rowdy, Sickboy, Swoon, Will Barras and Xenz
  • A life-size bronze sculpture of an old favourite from Nick Walker 
  • Kineta Hill and Karen Dew’s photographic projections, Watching Paint Dry, female documenters of Bristol’s scene
  • Iconic photographs of the 80s from Beezer
  • A bespoke five-minute edit of the film Wild Style by Charlie Ahearn
  • A bespoke seven-minute film by Scottish filmmaker Doug Gillen of Fifth Wall TV with an original score by drum and bass producer and DJ Krust 
  • Matthew Smith’s rare images of the 90s – the time of rave and the Criminal Justice Bill
  • Carrie Hitchcock and Yan Saunders’ unseen photographic archive 
  • Legendary photographer Henry Chalfant’s unseen photographs of his time in Bristol for Spraycan Art

Further details on the Vanguard book, album, outreach events and artist releases will be released shortly.

Vanguard Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement is kindly supported by Vans. 

Vanguard | Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement

M Shed, Bristol, BS1 4RN

Saturday 26 June 2021 – Sunday 31 October 2021

Admission £8 adult* / £7 concession* (*Tickets include £1 voluntary donation to Bristol Museums Development Trust)

W: | IG: @vanguardstreetart | FB: /vanguardstreetart

Crafting a Difference at SoShiro

New London gallery’s exhibition finally available to be seen in-person

Doors open 12 April for in-person visits • Exhibition extended to 30 April

After many months of closure due to London’s lockdown restrictions, SoShiro in Marylebone is looking forward to welcoming visitors and will be opening its doors on 12 April for the first in-person viewings of Crafting a Difference, an exhibition of innovative craftsmanship by more than 75 artists from across the globe.

“Crafting a Difference has been an ‘exhibition in waiting’ since 18 January, so it’s incredibly exciting to open our doors again and welcome visitors in person to our beautiful space,” says SoShiro founder Shiro Muchiri. “The show brings together over 200 objects from across the globe, focusing on the beauty of making and all the varied elements intrinsic to work created by hand.”

Five London-based contemporary craft and visual arts galleries have forged an unprecedented relationship to bring together an ambitiously diverse selection of. ‘Crafting a Difference’ at SoShiro gallery is a positively defiant act of coming together at a time when so many have been forced apart.

The exhibition is the brainchild of curator Brian Kennedy: “The craft sector has been hit hard by the pandemic, yet it’s also been a very creative time for many makers, artists and gallerists. For ‘Crafting a Difference’, not only do we have makers from Kenya, France, Spain, Japan, Argentina, China, UK, USA, Italy, Ireland, Egypt, Brazil, Scandinavia, Chile, Korea, Iceland, Vietnam, but a wide mix of materials and methods are being explored. Our intention is clear: to illustrate that now, more than ever, the process of creation is undeniably a deep-rooted, unifying force.”

Work in ceramics, wood, glass, metals, textiles, and paper by over seventy-five artists are exhibited across four floors of the Georgian townhouse, that is SoShiro. The lower floors feature work in the context of a gallery space, whereas the top two floors display pieces in the context of a residential interior.
A 3D virtual version of the exhibition is available to view online at Crafting a Difference at SoShiro will run until the 30 April.

Crafting a Difference at SoShiro is a physical exhibition of innovative craftsmanship housed in a beautiful Marylebone townhouse.

18 January – 30 April

In-person exhibition appointments at SoShiro will be available from 12 April. Appointments can be booked via THIS LINK.

Opening times are Monday to Friday 10 am to 6.30 pm. Weekends and out of hours appointments by special request.

A 3D virtual version of the exhibition is available to view online at Crafting a Difference at SoShiro
and will run until the 30 April.