Ahead of the 10th Anniversary spectacle in London, Arcadia have announced some changes to the scheduled programming. Taking place over May Day Bank Holiday weekend, the landmark sees Arcadia arrive in the capital for the first time.
Head of Production, Ceri Wade had the following to say: “Obviously Arcadia hosted Ultra’s Resistance parties during Miami Music Week. And it was a great success. But due to adverse weather conditions we’re struggling to get it back to the UK in time. Our seafreight couriers have confirmed there’s little to no chance of shipping the numerous containers. We were already pushing it with timeframes to be honest. But the continuing polar vortex from the East is causing chaos on the Atlantic. Ultimately we’ve been left with two choices. Cancel the event and let thousands of ticket-holders down. Or roll with the punch and find a way to salvage the show. Fortunately, we have a contingency plan! Okay, so the spider won’t be there. But there is a replacement. We weren’t meant to be unveiling this new installation until 2020, but we’ve put the peddle to the floor and pulled-out all of the stops to make this happen.”
Behold the towering 20m tall mechanical Pigeon. It even has a gammy leg for added authenticity. A glittering array of electronic music’s elite will play the Pigeon across both days, with house & techno programme on the Saturday and D&B on the Sunday. But the centrepiece will be the award-winning Metamorphosis show. Albeit, rejigged. The Pigeon will hatch from an enamel-encrusted egg, flapping its wings frantically before elevating some 2-foot off the ground and letting-out a blood-curdling swark. As the atmosphere intensifies, 200 Morris dancers will pour from the belly of the beast and dance in holy ritual.
Engineers Pip Rush & Bertie Cole were quick to point-out that much like the Spider, the Pigeon has been manufactured from 100% recycled material. “We really stretched our engineering prowess and imagination with this one. We sourced the majority of parts from scrapped Fiat 500s and a dozen supermarket trollies we fished-out of the Grand Union canal. We even used the springs from a soiled mattress we found dumped around the back. Plus, what could more London than a pigeon? It’s perfect. Some people are sceptical that a giant, 50-tonne animatronic pigeon can have the same kind of effect as a spider. But I ask these people to remain open-minded and judge for themselves. Sure, spiders are scary and lots of people have phobias about them. But what would you rather have on your face: a harmless spider? Or a disease-ridden, flying rodent? It’s a no brainer. It will even shoot lasers from its eyes, so it’ll look especially riddled!
The best part is we’re fuelling it on energy generated directly from the cesspits of the portaloos. There’s been some teething problems with the smell of burning urine and excrement. But that aside, this is the most efficient method of power we’ve implemented to date. And attendees will be excited that a little piece of them will contribute to the show.”
Quick to allay fears that the replacement structure won’t have the same other-worldly effect, the team went on the defensive. “When the nuclear holocaust happens and our cities are no more than derelict wasteland, pigeons will be one of the few things to survive. So it that respect, it’s pretty accurate. Proper dystopic! We were gonna have this wall of fire and this alien pigeon wrecking havoc from within. But we had a health and safety expert come down, and he had a few qualms. Apparently fire can be dangerous. So we’ve taken away the flame-throwers and replaced them with some flame effect lamps we managed to get at knock-down price from Maplins.” In addition, news of the festival’s brand new 360o immersive arena has leaked today. “It’s a wheel!” Beams Pip. “A giant, friggin’ wheel! And it rotates. So it’s literally a 360 degree experience! Literally.”
Keeping with the anamorphic robot theme, metal hamsters the size of cars will operate the wheel. “The hamsters just run, and run and run. All day! It’s quite something. Imagine the London Eye. But with a hamster. Genius! You’re gonna be looking at this thing rotating and thinking “wow, how does it do this?” We’re really gonna blow people away. We even strapped a giant water bottle to the side. It doesn’t do anything, but we thought it was a nice touch.”
Asked whether attendees will be able to ride the wheel, Bertie was more downbeat. “No. No, this has been designed specifically with car-sized hamsters in mind, not humans. There will be a 100-meter exclusion zone. But you can still get close-enough to see it rotate. And we really do urge customers to stay and watch the full 360o rotation. You will be able to view the structure from all angles and we’re installing some viewing platforms so you feel really close to the action. It’s gonna be out of this world!”
Final release tickets are on sale now.