Stellar Projects Brings The Moon To Teesside With Nightfall #AD

8 Oct 2019

Source: Nightfall 2019

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times - Teesside is the place to be at the moment, particularly if you're into arts or the creative industry as a whole. It feels like every other day that there's an announcement about a new event, project or exhibition opening up in our little corner of the North East, but there is one particular event that I am extremely excited about. With lights, art, hot chocolate and the moon, it's difficult not to be buzzing about Nightfall 2019 (December 5th and 6th).

Before I get stuck in to babbling excitedly at you all about this two-day family festival, let me just talk about Teesside for a little bit. It's a town that has famously got a lot of stick for being 'a bit of a dump', which is something that I've heard throughout my life about the area and I'm sick to the back teeth of it! I'm so proud to live in Teesside and I'm not embarrassed to be outspoken about it, especially Middlesbrough and Stockton.

As I've got older, all I have seen coming from the area is positive movements. As I mentioned a moment ago, this is the place to be for arts and the creative industry with opportunities popping up all the time for upcoming artists, musicians, writers and more. I'm seeing independent shops cropping up more often and - even better - thriving in the area. We've got incredibly talented prospective business owners, teachers, engineers and a whole host of other professionals in our university and colleges. It really is something I could ramble and argue about for hours because I'm just so passionate about the place that I live, and events like Nightfall just make me feel even prouder!

But what exactly is Nightfall and why do I think you should go along?
Museum of the Moon in Latvia

In a nutshell, "Nightfall is Teesside’s new light festival which is set to become an exciting addition to the region’s cultural calendar. The event aims to bring people together to experience the magic of illuminated artworks and performance after dark. [It will] aim to transform people’s perception of a familiar space and create a shared night-time experience, where people can come together, be inspired and enjoy the wonder of the moon."

It's organised by Stellar Projects

If you're a keen reader of The Northernist, you'll know that I had an absolute blast at Make & Mend in the summer, and Nightfall was created by the same crafty duo! As soon as I found that out, I was thinking, 'this will 100000% be up my street.' Rachel and Lyndsey, otherwise known as Stellar Projects, just seem to know how to host fantastic festivals, so I just know that this nighttime festival will be incredible, especially given the arts-inspired side of it and their background in crafting.

"Stellar Projects has experience in delivering arts-led projects, events and celebrations for both the public sector and local communities. [They] have worked with countless artists, performers, companies and organisations to create bespoke arts projects and produce extraordinary events and experiences in arts and community venues, outdoor spaces and unusual locations."

Related: Unwinding with Crafts at Make & Mend Festival 2019 #AD

There's a moon-themed programme

After a call out for local artists to create commissioned pieces for the festival, a packed programme of things to see and do all inspired by the moon landing's 50th anniversary has been organised for the festival. This includes "an exciting and wonderful trail of light installations and artworks located all around the park. You will start your journey at the playground before taking in a river view and embarking on a wander through the woods. The trail will lead you through the Victorian street stopping to admire the grand hall before moving into the bandstand garden and onwards to a very special finale site!

That finale point will be a clearing surrounded by trees, lit by The Museum Of The Moon (as seen in the image above), which is a detailed image of the moon's surface from NASA, projected and lit on to a 7m sphere. It's going to be truly magical and I get goosebumps just thinking about it! This piece by Luke Jerram has toured all across the world, so we are incredibly lucky to have it right here in Teesside. It's worth going along just for that fact!

Amongst the other artwork on the trail to the moon, you'll find a variety of artwork that has been commissioned in partnership with Navigator North. This has given a platform to emerging Teesside artists to show their work and put their names in front of people. As I mentioned, the art scene in the area is one that is constantly growing and flourishing, so I'm really looking forward to discovering some new names.

It's at the beautiful Preston Park Museum and Grounds

Not only will you be able to see the moon up close and personal, and experience the stunning artwork and lights along the way, you'll be able to get interactive with the artwork, hear music and storytelling, all while exploring the stunning grounds of Preston Park Museum. This is a place that I hold so close to my heart as it was one of my favourite places when I was a kid, so it's really special when massive events like this are held there.

Preston Park can be found towards Yarm and features a gorgeous Georgian stately home in the centre, which I'm hoping will be put to good use during Nightfall. This home, the museum, is one of the region’s major visitor attractions, with its four themed exhibition galleries, a programme of fascinating temporary exhibitions and a recreated Victorian Street, which is definitely the part of the experience that people remember the most. There's a full working sweet shop with jars of sherbet lemons and everything!

Rachel Willis of Stellar Projects said, “We are so proud to create this event in Teesside; having visited lots of different light festivals around the country we wanted to bring a magical outdoor experience home to Stockton. Preston Park is the perfect location for Nightfall and we can’t wait to present artworks from some of the best light artists in the UK, as well as commissioning new works from Teesside based artists especially for the event. We hope to make Nightfall a permanent fixture on the cultural calendar, a must see winter family event!
Preston Park Museum and Grounds. Source

It's perfect for kids

While there are lots of sights to see that will appeal to the grown ups, this event is also absolutely perfect for kids. There will be opportunities to hear some fantastic storytelling, live music, get involved with arts workshops and the chance to roast marshmallows on a campfire. It'll be just like a scout camp!

I'm pretty certain that kids will also be just as blown away by the beauty of the Museum Of The Moon installation as me - just imagine how magical it would be for them to see the moon up close!

There'll be plenty of winter comforts

Arguably, one of the best things about winter is mulled wine. I'm not even the biggest fan of wine, but mulled wine is one of my top festive drinks, and there'll be plenty of opportunities to grab one at Nightfall, so you can sip as you explore. If you're not big on mulled wine, there will also be delicious hot chocolate, plus a variety of street food vendors for you to try out. You'll be able to warm your cockles right through as you gaze up at the beautiful moon!

It's a bit different to your average Christmas event

Sure, we all love a Christmas market, and there's plenty of opportunities to ice skating here in Teesside, thanks to Billingham Forum, but an outdoor light trail with artwork, music, stories and food that's all themed around the moon? Something like that comes around once in a million years! I love how quirky and unusual it is in comparison to your typical, traditional Christmas event, so I'm certain it's going to be one that sticks in our memories for years to come.

Sounds absolutely fab doesn't it? After all of that, you're probably wondering 'how do I bag tickets to such an event, Olivia?' Let me give you the deets!
Source: Stellar Projects
These tickets are absolutely flying, so if you fancy heading down to Nightfall, you need to jump in there NOW. You can pick some up here. Entry is at 4:30PM and the tickets run on a slot system, with slots available at 15 minute intervals, so you can pick a time that's perfect for you. Last entry is at 8PM, which isn't crazy late, but at the beginning of December, it'll be pretty chilly and dark, so make sure you wrap up warm!

Ticket options

  • Standard ticket - £6
  • Family/group of 4 ticket - £20
  • Under 2s go free (they will need a ticket though, so make sure you select Under 2 FREE ticket when purchasing the rest of your tickets)
  • Parking spaces are available to book alongside tickets - spaces are limited, but there are alternative park and walk spaces available

Stellar Projects is predicting that Nightfall 2019 will attract 6000 people over the course of the two days, so make sure you snap your tickets up before they sell out! I've got my hands on mine and I absolutely can't wait to go along!

As I mentioned earlier, there are no other events quite like this in Teesside, so it's going to be a truly remarkable thing for the area. Plus, we'll be the temporary home of the Museum of the Moon - an art installation that has travelled the globe. It's a massive deal for our area and I'm absolutely buzzing to be a part of it!

Nightfall 2019 will be held on December 5th and 6th at Preston Park Museum and Grounds (Yarm Road, Stockton On Tees, TS18 3RH). Click here for more information.

This post was sponsored by Stellar Projects. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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