Festival takes a peek into the past

MUSICAL melodies and the hypnotic rhythm of drums are drifting from a mysterious magical tent pitched in Rotherham...

The colourful Spiegeltent - like something from a 19th Century travelling fair - is the centrepiece of Rotherham Open Arts Festival which runs until Sunday.

The ornate marquee is richly decorated and contains dozens of mirrors and a circular dance floor.

Spiegeltents - or ‘mirror tents’ - originated in Belgium and were once common across Europe.

It was erected in Rotherham for the first time last year and is back again this year as the venue for many of the annual festival’s activities.

The festival is being organised by a new enterprise called the Rotherham Culture Company, whose aim is to boost arts facilities across the town. Among artists taking part are folk musician and virtuoso guitarist Martin Simpson, Asian band Achanak, and jazz performers The Ed Barnwell Quartet.

There will also be two classical concerts, drama events, a blues production, and acrobatic performances.

• Log on to The Star’s website www.thestar.co.uk for more pictures inside the tent.