Shademakers made two bulls in 2015. One was “run” through the town together with the Equida Horses and local parade.
The second bull was burned in the finale event, together with performance and pyrotechnics.
“The Stamford Bull run was an ancient ritualised festival of sacrifice. It involved the local community who would share in the distribution of slaughtered bulls meat. The brutality of the event led to its abolition in the 19th century. The significance of the bull as a symbol of agrarian development and its relation to Carnival as a ritual rite of passage is indicated in the original meaning of `Carne Levare´ and more accurately, the excesses of Mardi Gras before lenten observance.
It is our intention to re-examine the potential for the ancient Bull run in Stamford to become a modern interpretation of community and collective identity. To add a wider world perspective of common ancient rituals which lead to pride, confidence and sense of place.
The Stamford Georgian Festival is ideally placed to reflect the attitude of the period to ban the Bull run, and therefore becomes the portal for its re introduction in a modern and positive format.
Following the first Stamford Bull Run as part of the Stamford Georgian Festival 2013, we propose, in collaboration with Stamford Town Council and South Kesteven County Council, a next phase of development to install the event and consolidate progress with an increased public audience and participation from local representatives.
We intend to integrate the event in the Stamford Georgian Festival 2015. The nature of the work shall include two parts, ie
• Twilight hours Parade.
• Evening Burning of the Bull.
The Parade shall meander through the town to involve a greater footprint than the 2013 route. We anticipate a procession between 1 and 2 hours duration and shall include various acts and performances related to the chase. For this purpose, we shall produce a new section of costume ie, Bulldogs, to be worn by Shademaker performers and potential new participants from the community and local interest groups. The new costumes shall be accompanied by 15 white horse costumes with riders, bullards (Bull provokers) 15 Chicken drummers and Powder Monkeys, (in relation to the Georgian Guards reenactment team) The nature of the parade should be a loud, unruly cacophonous rampage through the town with loud bangs, whip cracks and jeering.
The community aspect of the Parade will include work produced by local children and youth, coordinated by local artist Dee Sowden. The project theme will cover representations of Bulls in ceremonies and festival events around the World ie Northern Brazil, India, China, North America, Europe, Egypt, Rome and Spain.
A large wheeled Bull, constructed as a re-usable float shall be towed by an electric tug. The structure will be 2.5 mtrs wide 4.5 mtr long to a height of 5 mtrs. A platform above the Bull houses the Bull Queen, a traditional figure riding on the Bulls back. The structure represents the core of the parade and shall make its way to the Bull Meadow.
The `Burning of the Bull´ shall take place on Bull meadow. At this point, the wheeled Bull shall terminate its journey and performers will take up position around the large static wooden bull. Various characters shall introduce themselves in the form of a circular movement around the conflagration area. The costumes and framed costumes will be illuminated with various lighting effects. A number of scenarios will be presented and conclude with a volley of shots from the Georgian Guards re-enactment group.
On command, the wooden bull shall be ignited to the singing, dancing and raucous cheers of the gathered crowd. A Pyrotechnics display concludes the scene and the fire left to burn.” Paul McLaren