Sometimes weird is best – Rosie Solomon attends Birmingham’s Fierce Festival
November 3, 2015
Two weeks ago, I headed to the Fierce Festival, a festival displaying some of the artistic talents which Birmingham has to offer, without a clue of what I was getting myself into. All I knew was that 3BUGS, my university’s society responsible for organising the fringe theatre–the weird and wonderful and just downright bizarre–was organising the trip.
Trip was probably a good way to describe it – in both ways. We arrived at a run-down warehouse in King’s Heath which was bathed in a neon green light. When we entered the building, we immediately came into a room filled with balloons, a bookshelf and a bar, with a corridor down one side stacked with fridges and ovens. It was bizarre, to say the least.
The main room had a tree in it. Not that I’m an expert on raves or anything, but in my opinion, a massive papier mache tree in a rave was a little out of the ordinary. The first act to perform was Gazelle Twin, a band consisting of a guy on an electronic board and a female singer who wore a pair of tights over her face so that no facial features could be seen. They were accompanied by a group of backing dancers who performed in the same outfits. The overall effect was, once again, bizarre, and to some extent intimidating. The music they played was electronic with ethereal vocals and was actually brilliant, made even more so by the fact that there was a dancer about 30 centimetres from my face.
There was a short break between this odd display and the next, even stranger act, in which I covered mine and my friends’ faces in glitter glue and jewels and raced people up and down the fridge corridor. After all this, and a couple more drinks, it was time for the second act to begin. This DJ was described as doing something called Deep Aerobics, aerobics which apparently exercise your soul, so we were all rather intrigued.
After encouraging us all to get stuck in and leave any inhibitions at the door, the workshop began. We were instructed to wander around the room as though we were French amoebas (no, I’m not sure what they are either…) before being told to meet a random stranger, tell them about a problem in our lives, and then laugh about it.
So, after laughing about the fact that the Conservatives are in power, me and my new friend were then told that the world sucks and no one knows why, except perhaps our asses. That’s right, the next instruction was to chant “Maybe my ass knows why” at full volume, flipping off the world and everyone in the near vicinity. The DJ then told us that we were going to heal the world through sex, thrusting and grinding the actual floor as he encouraged us all to do the same. His crotch was exceedingly close to my face and whilst I’m not sure how I felt about that particular aspect, the rest of his set was thoroughly enjoyable. The random exercises followed, one after another, for almost two hours until my soul felt adequately exercised and we were all ready to party.
The rest of the evening was just that, a party, circling around and around a massive papier mache tree, with a world music/dubstep hybrid of a soundtrack playing and green neon lights flashing and a corridor full of fridges leading the way to the bathrooms in which a cat was just chilling, at an actual rave.
Safe to say, the night was out of the ordinary in the best way possible. Getting a taxi back to Rooster House for cheesy chips at the end of the night felt wrong, as though I had just strolled out of Wonderland back into my day job without a second thought.