To commemorate the deaths of the famous faces that we lost last year Blueprint100 teamed up with Big Burns Supper and hosted workshops to create elaborate carnival costumes that celebrated “the day of the dead” where they were presented in the annual carnival that paraded through the town centre. These skeletal creations depicted iconic celebrities such as David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Victoria Wood, Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman, Prince, Carrie Fisher and Muhammad Ali. These workshops took place from five till eight on Tuesday nights where Blueprint100 members helped to carve out the skeletal bones and heads, carve out jaws and make the intricate hands and backpack harnesses.
These skeletons were then designed to look like the renowned faces of the celebrities we loved and lost in 2016 – it was most definitely the year of the dead. Even though the construction of these costumes was tricky, time-consuming and very messy the end results were truly outstanding. There were also lantern making workshops where members could learn how to easily build lanterns to carry while walking in the carnival parade. The carnival parade took place on Saturday 22nd January at 5:00pm where members could finally show off their celebrity carnival costumes. Members walked round the town centre in height and style doing the famous skeletons justice. Overall, the work applied and wait was definitely worth it and the carnival was a success and a really fun day for those members involved.
On Tuesday 24th Dead set took place at the Stove from six till nine, this night of music celebrated the artists we had lost during 2016. These contrasting tributes were performed by our own town’s local bands and artists. The show was hosted by Blueprint100 curatorial team member Euan Macrory who also opened the show with his own acoustic set alongside band member Isla Gracie – they performed a selection of Burns songs to highlight the celebration of Burns month. Locally known singer song-writer Kate Kyle performed her own simple and beautiful acoustic renditions of Eagles songs to highlight the death of Glenn Frey who passed away at the start of last year. Michael Grant, another local singer performed an acoustic version of heroes by Bowie to celebrate his significant part of music history. He also performed a song by the Beatles to commemorate the death of their producer George Henry Martin who died in March last year.
A local trio called the Beard Progression played a selection of Prince Buster songs to celebrate his death. Prince Buster was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer who died in September last year. Singer song-writer Alex Maxwell performed his acoustic versions of Leonard Cohen songs alongside Kirsty Turpie. The audience then joined him for his rendition of Cohen’s unforgettable “Hallelujah”. Colin James wrapped up the night with his own hilariously clever songs about famous celebrities and death. He mentioned celebrities such as Carrie Fisher and he also sang about the loss of Harambe the silver back gorilla. Overall, all performances did a remarkable job in celebrating and highlighting the deaths of all the famous and iconic faces we lost last year, 2016 was well and truly the year of death but it is safe to say that along with the creation of decadent carnival costumes, parades and a night of fantastic music I feel we celebrated their deaths in a unique but awesome style.
By Isla Gracie – Blueprint100 Member