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Launch of Spill 2021

For five days this October (27-31 October), SPILL Festival promises to bring the strange, the striking and the surprising to the streets of Ipswich and it recently launched just this week at the Think Tank. 

Deputy mayor of Ipswich John Cook at the SPILL festival launch.

With the selection of ‘Memory’ as the chosen theme of this year’s festival, the team at SPILL take a look back on their previous incarnations of the festival whilst posing hard-hitting questions like ‘What do we know from the past?’ and ‘How do we make sense of our lives and the world, especially during this unprecedented time, when all about us things seem upended?’. 

The line-up sees the return of some exciting projects and artists who had featured in previous SPILL festival line-ups, such as Selina Thompson, who returns with her exhibition ‘Race Cards’ which is a room containing 1,000 questions about race at the Ipswich Art Gallery. The festival will also bid farewell to recently deceased artist Raimund Hoghe, who was the first artist to feature in the very first SPILL festival with his performance of ‘Sacre- The Rite of Spring’. 

Outgoing Artist Director Robert Pacitti (left) and Incoming Artistic Director Robin Deacon (right)

Outgoing Artist Director Robert Pacitti said on the artist’s inclusion, “This event… we couldn’t run it with the theme of memories and not include him in. It’s not a memorial but it is a farewell to Raymond.” 

SPILL aims to bring a sense of wonder and beauty to the Ipswich Waterfront with the inclusion of the ‘Albesila Luminarium’, a set of tunnels and domes where visitors can move in a medium of saturated lights and subtle hues. 

For something more musically based, why not check out Katy Dye’s ‘Climate Grief Karaoke’ which is a karaoke event for people suffering from Ecological Grief as a response to climate change? Or ‘Shy God- A Chorus’ by Moi Tran which features a community chorus of diverse voices which also looks at extinction caused by climate change. Or even ‘The Comeback Special’, which is a unique multi-format project that includes a live album from the rejuvenated ‘THE THE’. 

The festival also brings together artists all across the world, even remotely, featuring productions like ‘Daughters’ from Romanian performance company ‘Tangaj Collective’, which sees three women on roller skaters who share a collective body with their mothers and grandmothers at the Ipswich Art Gallery. 

At the launch of the SPILL festival

Incoming Artistic Director Robin Deacon said on the festival, “I would like to welcome you as we celebrate the 2021 SPILL Festival launch. It’s a delight to welcome you all back to the Think Tank. I have a very deep connection with this festival and it is such an honour to be here, we’re really excited to be working with our venue partners.”

Rober Pacitti said, “SPILL has always tried to present an unexpected programme and may not have gone for the most well-known people but people who are really meaningful.”

For SPILL 2021, the team is aiming to be environmentally friendly with a largely paperless ticketing system. It will also feature a ‘Pay What You Choose’ option for the first time where the website will have a range of prices to choose from, with the exact same experience. You can purchase an ‘all-seeing’ pass (£50-£100) or an individual pass (£5-20). 

To find out more about the SPILL festival and the range of events they have on, simply head to


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