release image
Commoners Choir  [Immo Klink]
Commoners Choir [Immo Klink]
Jenna G [Jamie Lowe]
Jenna G [Jamie Lowe]
LOWD Soundsystem [Immo Klink]
LOWD Soundsystem [Immo Klink]
Katy Rubin & Legislative Theatre [Immo Klink]
Katy Rubin & Legislative Theatre [Immo Klink]
Myth & Narrative In Our Times [Josh Knowles]
Myth & Narrative In Our Times [Josh Knowles]
Mike Garry [Immo Klink]
Mike Garry [Immo Klink]
Brian Eno & Choir [Jamie Lowe]
Brian Eno & Choir [Jamie Lowe]
release image
release image
release image

Release Notes (4)

Fête of Britain Canvas

Explore some of the highlights from The Fête of Britain on an interactive canvas.

Endless Vital Activity podcast.

Endless Vital Activity podcast. Clare Farrell and Brian Eno discuss their shared commitment to mobilising change in the face of climate emergency, under the banner of the emergent Hard Art movement.

The Fête of Britain at Factory International

Fête of Britain banners

Es Devlin, Ed Hall, and the XR Art Factory have transformed the Fête’s main performance space. Here’s a sneak peek before the lights go down.

Hard Art

HA 003

The Fête of Britain

Created by

The Fête of Britain: four days of joyous celebration of the imagination... and what we can collectively achieve when we decide to replace competition with collaboration. Curated by Hard Art at Aviva Studios in Manchester. It’s the opening salvo for a new movement. Hit Support below to join us!

What's included

Supported by

More about the release

The UK is a hot mess. Sitting at the epicentre of intersecting crises – from the cost of living and inequality to climate and environmental destruction, political corruption and geopolitical unrest – there seems to be no end in sight to the multifaceted shitshow we’re in.

2024 is the year Britain in theory gets to choose, with a general election likely in the autumn. From Exeter to Salford, Grimsby to Glasgow, we know change needs to happen. But we have little faith in the choices presented to us at the ballot box.

But what if our choices are different? What if we don’t simply wait to pick between the least worst option and hope that politicians will fix things for us? What if we instead choose ‘us’?

The Fête of Britain put up its big tent where these multiple crises converge, asking the question: what if we decide that fate really is in our hands?

Across four days of conversation, song, play and art, the Fête of Britain offered an antidote to the major challenges of the 21st century: people coming together to create the alternative.

Click here for some of the highlights of what went on

The solutions to our problems start somewhere, and that somewhere is with us.

Because the fate of one of us is the fate of all of us.

What is HARD ART?

We are, not to put too fine a point on it, in trouble.

Caught in a perfect storm of climate, economic and democratic turmoil, global consequences of unprecedented nature are coming rapidly down the line.

But as we live through what is often referred to as a polycrisis, or hyperobject – too large and mind-mangling for people to get their head ’round (let alone act on), we also find ourselves inhabiting a crucial time. Carl Jung summed it up perfectly:

‘A mood of universal destruction and renewal has set its mark on our age. This mood makes itself felt everywhere: politically, socially, and philosophically. We are living in what the Greeks called the kairos – the right moment ­­for a “metamorphosis of the gods,” of the fundamental principles and symbols. This peculiarity of our time, which is certainly not of our conscious choosing, is the expression of the unconscious human within us who is changing.’The Undiscovered Self: With Symbols and the Interpretation of Dreams, Carl Jung, 1958

As we see the political, social and philosophical truths of the last 70 years convulse, it is to the ‘expression of the unconscious’ that Hard Art turns. For if the last five years of environmental activism have been typified by Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion’s clarion calls to Tell The Truth, the next phase of action will be led by narrative, and the imagination. ­ HARD ART is set up to: Foster interdisciplinary collaboration, in order to Create cultural disruption, that Supports a strategic ecosystem for change.

Or, as we are wont to say: defibrillate the imagination. For as Ursula K. Le Guin said:

‘The exercise of imagination is dangerous to those who profit from the way things are because it has the power to show that the way things are is not permanent, not universal, not necessary.’The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader and the Imagination. Ursula K. Le Guin 2004

Fostering interdisciplinary collaboration

Many actors in the movement for change are working in isolation. They are separated by industry or interest silos, ideological disagreement or simply by the difficulty of knowing what anyone else is up to when doing this work as a volunteer.

There is however a nascent ecosystem united by purpose. From faith to finance, democracy to decentralisation similar conversations are happening everywhere, with different technical language.

There is a significant strategic opportunity to unite this landscape.

The Hard Art network

From theatre to comedy, art to faith, economics to philanthropy a growing cross-section of cultural participants are collaborating around the themes of race and class inequality, climate and democracy.

The purpose of the group is twofold: to produce work that lands in the public consciousness with maximum impact in support of the wider movement for change, and to kick-start a new approach for transformational narrative leadership which can rapidly decentralise and grow.

Its outputs include films, exhibitions, installations, books, writing, transformation of public spaces, new meanings, objects, documentation, research, songs, trainings and blueprints.

CategoryDemocracy, Arts, Activism
Release Date10 April 2024
RecordHA 003