“Bivouac ? Exhilarating, exciting… and painful.” So said one of the Great Yarmouth volunteers who performed alongside Générik Vapeur at the Out There festival.
A number of local people worked and rehearsed with Générik Vapeur in the days preceding the festival in preparation for the highlight of Saturday’s programme. “Générik Vapeur was great to work with – weird, wacky and welcoming,” said Lorraine Finch, one of the volunteers. “We soon became a tribe… the experience was truly once in a lifetime.”
The volunteers literally shed blood, sweat and tears as they toiled over three days to learn how to pound and move the oil drums in sequence.
It was an event unparalleled even for Great Yarmouth’s rich history of entertainment and circus as Bivouac made its long anticipated English debut beside the sea, in front of thousands of amazed visitors. The show brought about the surreal site of Great Yarmouth’s traditional English seafront, full of amusement arcades and fast-food restaurants, invaded by blue painted figures, pounding and hurling oil drums around in a choreographed spectacular including an intervention from the top of the 70m high Atlantis Tower.
“It was a fabulous weekend,” said one festival attender. “Bivouac was a triumph. At last something that was not stewarded and barriered out of existence, and had a real sense of involvement in the drama.”
An estimated 8000 people gathered on the seafront as the show reached its spectacular climax. “It has been terrific and incredible for Great Yarmouth and Out There to be the first place in England to host Bivouac,” said SeaChange’s Joe Mackintosh. “It commanded an audience with an intensity which will have a lasting impact for some time to come.”