Day of entertainment launches Kings Square

A day of spectacular entertainment, music and family activities is set to mark the opening of the new Kings Square following its £5 million transformation.

Taking place on Saturday, April 30, the day’s events will show off the newly revamped square’s design based on the Severn Bore, the tidal surge along the River Severn, and its sweeping granite seating areas, water fountains and atmospheric coloured lighting.

The event celebrates 50 years after the square was first opened in 1972, and aims to showcase the square as an events space by featuring lighting displays, dance performances and a dramatic high wire walk.  

Throughout the day from 1-9pm there will be a buzz of performances and free circus skills activities for children and young people, as well as a new show from hip-hop contemporary dance group, Avant Garde. SCRUM, is a 35-minute immersive experience merging dance with virtual reality and will invite visitors to scan the QR codes to view the hidden virtual layers. 

In the evening, onlookers can enjoy a specially commissioned new collaboration between Gloucester based Strike a Light and Avant Garde, who have worked with 125 dancers across the city on a vibrant new performance.

The evening will culminate in a breathtaking show called Wave at the Moon, which has been created for the launch about the relationship between the moon and the tidal bore. It’s a collaboration between Cirque Bijou and the Bullzini High Wire Company who’ve performed in both national and international festivals and will feature wire walker Chris Bullzini, aerialist Eloise Currie and musicians Michael Fergie and Tilly Chester.

Using Kings Square as a place for events was one of the key requests from extensive consultations held with local people by the city council and its development partners Reef. To ensure that the square continues to act as a vibrant events space throughout the year, an activities programme is currently being put together.

Other consultation requests included the return of the fountains, now central to the Severn Bore theme, along with greenery which has been included through a series of flower beds set to be planted up over the next few weeks. 

Councillor Richard Cook, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “We are incredibly excited to show our residents and visitors what is possible with the new square’s design which we developed with the help of our residents. As the rest of the Kings Quarter takes shape with the development of the hugely ambitious digital quarter bringing new businesses, bars and restaurants and a four-star hotel, we know the square is going to become a hive of activity and a new destination for Gloucester.”

Esther Croft, Development Director at Reef Group, said: “Creating a sense of place is a critical component of a successful regeneration scheme and we fully expect Kings Square to become the heart of the new Forum community. The square’s renovation has been a collaborative effort and we’d like to thank all our partners and the local community for their part in the shaping a space we can all take pride in. I for one can’t wait to see the square host such a spectacular medley of music and dance. We hope everyone enjoys the event as a showcase for what Gloucester can offer.”