GDIF 2020 | London’s free, annual outdoor performing arts festival 27 August-11 September 2021

Global Streets

Global Streets is a national programme that is inspiring local change through unforgettable international outdoor arts experiences coupled with targeted engagement activities.

Funded by Arts Council England and managed by FESTIVAL.ORG, Global Streets gives voice to people in Barking and Dagenham, Birmingham, Coventry, Doncaster, Gloucester, Hounslow, Hull, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Slough and Woolwich – together representing some of the least arts-engaged areas in the country. Since 2015, more than 220,000 people have experienced a variety of international productions, each embedded with unique and locally imagined opportunities for people to get involved.

Having safely and successfully organised the first full, live, outdoor arts festival to take place after the outbreak of Covid-19, the team behind GDIF and FESTIVAL.ORG are working with partners across the country to share expertise on how to manage Covid-safe yet celebratory events.


Global Streets 2021

The welfare of artists, audiences and participants is always paramount and Global Streets partners will be reviewing government advice to inform the scheduling of the 2021 programme. Please do check this webpage for further updates.


Global Rainbow, Yvette Mattern, 2020-2021. Rainbow lasers shine out across Birmingham as part of Global Streets.

Global Rainbow

Global Rainbow, described by artist Yvette Mattern as ‘a visual translation of hope and peace’, has lit up the  skies across Birmingham and Barking and Dagenham. Presented around the world since 2009, these rainbow laser beams have taken on a new significance in 2020 with the symbolic links to the NHS and the UK’s outpouring of gratitude to and support of key workers.

Global Rainbow was presented in Birmingham on 31 December 2020 and 1 January 2021, and in Barking and Dagenham from 2-5 April 2021. 

Light Art Collective, Light a Wish, OGE Group. Global Streets 2020-2021, Liverpool, Two illuminated dandelion heads suspended over a river at night.

Light A Wish

Light Art Collective present OGE Group’s Light A Wish in Liverpool as part of the River of Light festival, featuring giant suspended illuminated dandelion heads. Inspired by the moment in which we make a wish and watch the seeds disperse, the artists behind Light A Wish have created a visual representation of collective dreams, desires, and good intentions. 

Light A Wish will be presented in Liverpool from 23 March to 5 April.

Neighborhood, Sergey Kim, Light Art Collective. Global Streets 2020, Liverpool. An illuminated laundry line hangs in front of a building, lighting up the river below.


Neighborhood, presented by Light Art Collective shows illuminated laundry hanging on washing lines. Glowing white garments, T-shirts, underwear, trousers, a pair of wide Turkish pants, a traditional Jewish dress, and a Moroccan djellaba: together these pieces represent the cultural and ethnic mix of residents in the city. Artist Sergey Kim hopes to send a positive message into the world by using something as every day and universal as drying laundry to represent an image of people coexisting harmoniously.

Neighborhood will be presented in Liverpool as part of the River of Light festival from 23 March to 5 April.

A lighted box is perched on top of a municipal building with someone standing inside. The-Hull-Vigil-Benjamin-Tovo-

The Hull Vigil Project

The Vigil Project will open as part of Hull’s Freedom Festival 2021, running for a full 365 days until 2022. Each day at sunrise and sunset, a participant will keep a ‘vigil’ over the city, watching over daily life. This inclusive, civic celebration of community will bring a city together as it looks forward to emerging from a period of enormous challenge.

The Hull Vigil Project will be presented in Hull from 3 May 2021 – 3 May 2022.




Looking back at 2019

Last year, Global Streets brought 12 different productions to high streets and public spaces across the country, reimagining them as accessible outdoor theatres for which nobody needs a ticket. From alien invasions to giant parading puppets, from hairdressing makeovers to a giant chandelier, in 2019 Global Streets reached 40,000 people, connecting and strengthening local communities through unforgettable international experiences in the great outdoors.

The Global Streets story so far

Since 2015, the 10 partners of Global Streets have brought 60 performances of 23 different international productions to high streets and public spaces across England, reaching 206,401 audience members and engaging with 14,263 participants.


Read about Global Streets 2015-2018 here.


In 2019:

• 40% of Global Streets audiences were low arts engagers, compared to 17% in national audiences
• 76% of Global Streets audiences were low or mid arts engagers, compared to 63% in national audiences
• 78% said Global Streets events have made them proud of their local area
• 49% said Global Streets events have helped them understand people from other cultures
• 69% say Global Streets events have helped them to feel connected to other people in the audience
• 70% say Global Streets events have changed their expectations of how British high streets and public spaces can bring people together

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