Superact and the Fresh Arts Festival at Southmead Hospital
Superact played its part in Southmead Hospital’s Fresh Arts Festival from 16 to 18 October programming a series of musicians to perform. Marking the opening of the Brunel building at the impressive new hospital, the three day long Fresh Arts Festival was a celebration of creativity designed to promote wellbeing amongst staff, patients and visitors alike. Here, Mascha Wieland our intern from Team Training reflected on her time at the festival.
Haddo, She'Koyokh, Paper Moon Band, Paul Hutchinson & Fiona Barrow, York Trio and Camilo Menjura were touring the hospital to entertain patients, visitors and staff with the most different kinds of music - ranging from folk music to Klezmer and jazz.
The musicians played in the main entrance hall, in waiting areas, and in the wards, enabling people to enjoy professional live music all day long. Some of them were surprised by music in the hospital, many passed by smiling, and others stopped to enjoy the free shows, telling Superact staff what a great idea the festival had been! On the wards people really engaged with the music as staff and patients started dancing. For some it was an emotional experience and they were moved to tears. The music was a welcome interruption of the staff’s daily routine and patients glanced out of their rooms, tapping their toes in time to the music. The musicians also went around the wards, playing music to patients individually which took their minds away from their hospital surroundings.
Alongside our music concerts there were loads of other things to do and see for patients and visitors: a huge knitted jumper was installed at the entrance door, one could attend knitting sessions, guests could go for a guided tour around the hospital, have a look at paintings and photography, ask the ambulance poet for a proper reading cure, attend drama performances, or listen to choirs all around the hospital!
Telling from the feedback we got from many different people, an arts festival is a welcome addition to the hospital with music having a particular power to take one’s mind off things and to enjoy the present moment. We are really looking forward to continue bringing music to hospitals to contribute to the improvement of health and wellbeing of many people!