Theatre in Wales

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Aberystwyth in Flux: 1968 2008     

Aberystwyth in Flux: 1968  2008 FLUXCONCERT BY AND FOR FLUXUS, 28 November 1968, 8pm, Parish Hall, Aberystwyth
FLUXCONCERT BY AND FOR FLUXUS, 29 November 2008, 8pm, Parish Hall (now Castle Theatre), Aberystwyth


FLUXCONCERT BY AND FOR FLUXUS, 28 November 1968, 8pm, Parish Hall, Aberystwyth

The Fluxus Concert was a real success... Slides of cowboy drawings. We pull crackers, burst bags, howl. Somebody chases his mate around the parish hall to hit him. Flux-Pin-Up No. 1 showers down. It is a picture of Brian. ...People howl and throw streamers, and stick coloured papers on their faces, and somehow behind the light Brian throws us another set of instructions. Caution, Art Corrupts.
(John Hall, A State of Flux - John Hall at the Aberystwyth Festival, The Guardian 30 November 1968)

From the 27th to the 29th November 1968, artist Brian Lane came to Aberystwyth with his collaborators, the First Dream Machine, to organize a 3-day Fluxus event. He had been invited by the annual Aberystwyth Arts Festival, a committee that was made up of students from University College Aberystwyth (including Bob Marsland, John Osborne and Steve Mills). The participatory and imaginative nature of Fluxus appealed to the organisers who, as they stated in their invitation to Lane, were looking to >reach a wide enough audience< and were >attempting to revitalize the Festival by pushing the idea of Art as Fun, Art as something to be enjoyed<.

In response, Brian Lane devised an ambitious programme for Aberystwyth: a 12 hour concert of electronic music (which featured pieces by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Henry and Adrian Nutbeem), one of the first Fluxusclinics in the country, an international graphics exhibition and a session of Total Theatre. At the heart of the festival was a Flux Concert, featuring performances of now classic Fluxus scores by artists such as George Maciunas, Ben Vautier, George Brecht and Chieko Shiomi. Adrian Glew, curator at the Tate in charge of the Brian Lane Archive, calls the event >seminal<, as it >entered the contemporaneous Fluxus canon and the subsequent history of Fluxus in the UK<. (Glew 2007).

They say that if you can remember the 60s you weren’t there… but we are hoping to prove this wrong. If you have any memories of this 3-day event (or of the Aberystwyth Arts Festival in general), or know somebody who does, please get in touch! Any material will be of interest ... even vague memories of events caught out of the corner of your eye. Contact: <>

[A Guardian review of the First Dream Machine in Aberystwyth can be found here:]


FLUXCONCERT BY AND FOR FLUXUS, 29 November 2008, 8pm, Parish Hall (now Castle Theatre), Aberystwyth

In a year in which the revolutionary impetus of 1968 and its legacy is being widely reassessed, we will pay tribute to this seminal example of experimental art practice exactly 40 years after it first occurred. Aberystwyth-based artists will perform their interpretation of the original Fluxus scores used in 1968.

Admission is free. To book tickets visit:

The restaging is part of What’s Welsh for Performance? Beth yw performance’ yn Gymraeg? A major research project aiming to uncover and archive the history of performance art in Wales.
Project Director: Dr Heike Roms, Performance Studies, Aberystwyth University

With the support of the Sir David Hughes Parry Awards 2008; Aberystwyth University Research Fund; Aberystwyth University.

>...if you don't know what a Fluxconcert is you must come and see for yourself...< [Brian Lane, 1968]
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