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Something Wishful: A Celebratory Event on the River Dee, Chester 2008

Past projects

Boats on a river at night

Something Wishful was the culmination of Cheshire’s Year of Gardens, which encouraged people from all over Cheshire to express their dreams and wishes through a collective and personal experience.

EEA was commissioned by Chester Performs and Cheshire CC, to creatively produce this event. Underpinning the celebration was an extensive participation programme, which we fulfilled by training and commissioning a team of six local artists to design and make over 500 illuminated Krathongs (Thai floating shrines) with local schools and groups.

Utilising local artists was not only beneficial from a practical and cost perspective but also reflects our desire, wherever possible and appropriate, to leave a capacity building legacy within the local artistic community. We worked closely with our commissioning partner, Chester Performs and Cheshire CC, to realise their vision for the project. It was important to us that the participating organisations had an ownership of the project and could contribute their practical support, knowledge of their communities, creative ideas and skills.

Krathongs floating on the River Dee

The resulting Krathongs were invested with participant’s hopes and wishes and were processed by the groups to the River Dee and floated as part of the Something Wishful celebration and spectacle. As part of this finale EEA built a floating mechanical garden of giant flowers and water fountains, illuminated by lighting and pyrotechnics. The garden floated on pontoons on the River Dee, to which giant swan platforms carried dancers accompanied by soundtrack and special effects. In addition to the creative producing of the event, EEA was responsible for all the environmental and Health & Safety procedures as part of its production management of the event. In turn we worked closely with local boating clubs, engaging their practical support and detailed knowledge of the river and its characteristics to deliver this programme, thereby reinforcing local involvement and ownership.


“I think it’s important for people to get involved with this kind of stuff because it gives a sense of community and opens people’s minds to ideas that they wouldn’t have otherwise considered”

Group Leader, Young Carers Association

“I would definitely encourage people to become involved with Emergency Exit Arts. It’s a unifying event; it really brings the community together”

Hailey Knight, trainee

“Not just good but stunning"

Audience member

“Thank you so much for involving me and my group in this event, it was amazing! We were totally mesmerised!”

Vale Royal PAYP Youth Worker

EEA – A Way Out of the Ordinary into the Extraordinary