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Hardy Hei People bed down in Gillingham

Date: 27/05/2008           Category: Arts and Libraries

Members of the Hei People tribe braved Monday's stormy weather to take up residence on top of the Sunlight Centre in Gillingham. The scarecrow-like figures will remain on their lofty perch for the duration of the Fuse Medway Festival, which runs from Saturday, 31 May to Saturday, 14 June. This peace-loving community, the creation of Finnish performance artist Reijo Kela, is back in England, after a tour of the south-east in 2007 - a joint initiative between the North Kent Local Authorities Arts Partnership (NKLAAP) and the Arts Council England. Having bathed in the sun last year, the Hei People found the blustery bank holiday more of a challenge. Event coordinator, Paivi Seppala, said, "Our hay-headed friends are from Finland, so they're used to adverse weather. But they were blown away by the conditions in Gillingham on Monday; almost literally. However, they now feel very secure in the area and will surely go down a storm." Hei People first appeared in Medway last year, on the banks of Fort Amherst. They returned a couple of weeks ago, on the balcony of The Brook Theatre, Chatham. More members of the community will appear during the next two weeks, as the Fuse Medway Festival gets under way. Look up and keep your eyes peeled. Fuse Medway Festival is a celebration of arts and creativity in Medway. Spanning three weekends of great live performances and exhibitions, the festival includes theatre, indoors and out, cabaret, music, visual arts, dance and a hamper-full of fun for families. Visit www.fusefestival.org.uk to download a free brochure and uncover the full line-up. Alternatively, call box office on 01634 338338 to request a hard copy.