A new festival celebrating performance art without barriers is coming to Watford next month.

Enrich Festival is a free three-day event, taking place in Watford from Friday, June 7, to Sunday, June 9, created to give space and visibility to amateur and professional artists with additional needs, break down social barriers and challenge misconceptions.

During the festival, which is being jointly funded by Hertfordshire County Council and the National Lottery through Arts Council England, there will be a variety of inclusive performances, workshops and concerts allowing the artists and the audience the chance to spend time together in a friendly and prejudice free environment.

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Taking place across two popular wheelchair accessible Watford venues, all the events are free to attend. O’Neill’s Pub on Station Road will host live music with Brighton’s Beat Express Band opening the Festival on Friday, June 7, at 6pm, and inclusive Polish rock band Na Gorze taking to the stage on Saturday, June 8, at 8pm.

Watford Palace Theatre and The Barn on Clarendon Road will host a wide range of accessible and inclusive performances and workshops across the weekend. A full list of activity and booking information can be found at www.enrichfestival.com.

Mind the Gap Theatre, Anjali Dance Company, Herts Inclusive Theatre and Access All Areas are just a few of the amazing artists that will be performing. Workshops will include samba percussion, creative mask making, creative textiles, dance and drama.

Enrich Festival is part of a Relaxed Performance Theatre4All campaign ensuring that all shows are more accessible to those with autism and their families. The campaign promotes a relaxed approach to making noise during the shows and coming in and out of the auditorium. There is also a chill-out space available at Watford Palace Theatre for people who would like a break.

Iain MacBeath, Director of Adult Care Services at Hertfordshire County Council said: “Hertfordshire is lucky to have a diverse community and we welcome the opportunity to have these local and international artists come and celebrate inclusivity in our county.

“Everybody is welcome, and we especially want to see lots of people with additional needs and their families and carers attending and getting involved in the events and workshops on offer.”

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Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: “We’re delighted to support Hertfordshire’s Enrich Festival thanks to National Lottery funding. Everybody deserves the opportunity to enjoy and participate in arts and culture, irrespective of their circumstance or background. This project will provide performing artists with additional needs with a platform to showcase their work.”

To pre-book your free tickets visit www.watfordpalacetheatre.co.uk or call 01923 225 671. You can also get regular updates on the Enrich Festival Facebook page www.facebook.com/enrichfestival