We are delighted to announce that  Our Stomping Grounds: A Celebration of Learning Disability Culture is back this year.

Following the huge success of last year’s first ever Our Stomping Grounds Festival we are back for more! The festival consists of a series of fantastic events and workshops, sharing and showcasing incredible local talent.

We begin the festival with a fantastic music and dance extravaganza which people can book to take part in and others can book to watch the final product. We have an exhibition of original self portraits by local people which will be launched by the wonderful SYSTEMIC Choir. Back again is our Short Short Film Festival which is lovely opportunity for local learning disabled artists to see their work on the big screen as we take over ARC’s cinema.

It wouldn’t be an Our Stomping Grounds Festival without an ARCTic Piranha Daytime Rave, followed by a talent studded Stomp Cabaret to lead us into our joyful Closing Ceremony Celebration.

There is also a series of workshops in the lead up to the festival which are oputlined in our booking formation and include, visual arts self portraits, a Magnificence Catwalk workshop, and a couple of music workshops to create a musical anthem for the Festival 2024. The main emphasis this year has been to explore ‘identity’ and what that means to us all within our stomping grounds.

Identity & Me Exhibition

Our Identity & Me exhibition will celebrate learning disability culture from across the Tees Valley.

This exhibition will feature self portraits from learning disabled individuals and groups revealing unexpected sides of themselves and challenging preconceptions the public often has about learning disabled people. This years’ theme is identity. Through mixed media collage, the group have responded to the theme and created their own portraits.

The exhibition opens to the public on 12th June.  There will be an exhibition event as part of the festival at 2.30pm including music from Systemic Choir and poetry from Full Circle members. It’s free to attend but booking is essential.

Festival Programme

Wednesday 12th June

10am – 10.30am Welcome to the Festival by Full Circle

Come together in the main theatre to kick start Day 1 of Our Stomping Grounds Festival. A great place to congregate, spot your friends and make new ones, and socialise ahead of a day of workshops! Anyone attending the workshops today can attend this gathering, which is included when you book your space on the Music Extravaganza – drumming, singing or dance workshops.

Workshop Bonanza

As part of the festival, Full Circle have been working with Singer Songwriter Bridie Jackson to compose a new piece of music all around this years’ theme. This piece will premiere at the festival, and as part of its’ starring moment, we want to create a full performance! Take your pick between drumming or dance, and learn some vital sounds and grooves to accompany this anthem!

Songwriting sessions with Bridie Jackson

Wed 29 May 10am – 12.30pm

Wed 5 Jun 10am – 12.30pm

Join this musical workshop with songwriter Bridie Jackson to create a fun and dynamic performance of an uplifting and joyful new song called Our Stomping Grounds, co-written by Bridie and the Full Circle Theatre Company, especially for the festival.

Click here to book.

An illustration of drums of various sizes. Text reads 'Drumming Workshop Our Stomping Grounds Festival 2024'

Drumming with Gary Bowden

10am – 11.50am

Plan, play and learn some rhythms using hand drums and percussion to perform later that day, to accompany our new Festival Anthem! and dancers who will also be working hard to create something new for today.

Click here to book.

Three of the Urban Kaos team on stage, they each have both arms raised in a V shape, and all have microphone stands in front of them. There is a crowd dancing in front of them, and a shining gold curtain behind them.

Dance with Urban Kaos

10am – 11.50am

Take part in the Urban Kaos workshop to create fun choreography, in a dance that will bring the festival Anthem! to life.

Click here to book.


12pm – 1pm

Everyone is invited to bring their own packed lunches and eat together at ARC while we all have a bit of a break and a bit of a socialise. We’ll continue to be as safe as possible with plenty of space. We’ll also have a quiet area if anyone needs a quiet break.

Premiere of Anthem!

A graphic of 4 silhouettes against a rainbow coloured, psychedelic background featuring blurred music notes. All of the figures are dancing. Text reads: Festival Anthem Music Extravaganza

2pm – 2.15pm

Join us for the premiere of our newly composed song in the Main Theatre. Bridie Jackson will lead the group in song, accompanied by the energetic moves and grooves from Urban Kaos and the rhythms and beats of Gary Bowden on the drums.

Click here to book.

A graphic of an oil painting, the painting features a close up of a blue eye and a hand covering the bottom half of the face. Text reads: Exhibition Launch Event.

SYSTEMIC Choir launch Self Portraits Exhibition by ARCtic Piranha

2.45pm – 3.15pm

The 2nd floor gallery at ARC hosts an exhibition of self portraits from learning disabled artists from Full Circle, ARCtic Piranha, Jam Buddies, Jigsaw and residents from some of our local residential homes. Through mixed media collage, the group have created beautiful images that reflect their identity. There are unexpected elements with beautiful and humorous details in many of the portraits. This exhibition will launch to the public on Wednesday 12th June.

SYSTEMIC Choir will be launching this wonderful collection of images with a very special performance. Light refreshments will be served so please let us know of any dietary allergies or requirements.

Click here to book.

Day One Closing / Thank yous

3.30pm – 4pm

Congregate in the Main Theatre to reflect on day one and have your say about what you’ve thought of it all. Roving microphones at the ready!

Click here to book.

Thursday 13th June

Welcome to the Day Two of the Festival by Full Circle

10am – 10.30am

Come together in the cinema to kick start Day 2 of Our Stomping Grounds Festival. A great place to congregate, socialise ahead of a day of fun!

A silhouette of a cinema audience in front of a blue and purple screen, with part-opened curtains. Text reads: The Short, Short Film Festival.

The Short Short Film Festival

10.30am – 12pm

Our Short Short Film Festival is proud to present a series of short films from local learning disabled artists and groups including: Arctic Piranha tell us about their amazing inclusive club nights as a safe haven for learning disabled party-goers, David Courteney presents a short film about becoming Elvis. Full Circle give us a behind the scenes look at the artistic which supports them to come up with original ideas, and also show a second film with a more quirky look at Stockton life. Local band Jam Buddies share a short film about breaking in to becoming a fully fledged band and arranging their first gigs. The award winning, multi-million viewed Shoot Your Mouth Off film company treat us to one of their newer classics which is currently under wraps.

Click here to book.


12pm – 1pm

Everyone is invited to bring their packed lunches and eat together at ARC while we all have a bit of a break and a bit of a socialise. We’ll continue to be as safe as possible with plenty of space. We’ll also have a quiet area if anyone needs a quiet break.

A silhouette of a group of people dancing, with their arms raised. They are in front of a colourful background full of pops of light. Text reads: ARCtic Piranha's Daytime Rave

Arctic Piranha’s Daytime Rave

1pm – 2pm

We are delighted to be able to dance in the daytime. The ARCTIC PIRANHA DJ Crew are on board, planning the event and arranging the playlist – they might even take requests. Let’s get on the dancefloor and raise the roof!

Click here to book.

An illustration of a black, doc marten style boot against a bright purple background. Text reads: Stomp! Cabaret.

Stomp! Cabaret

2.30pm – 3.45pm

At this years’ festival we have a very exciting cabaret performance. Join us for a fun filled hour (and a bit) of magic, magnificence and music! The artists confirmed for your delight are Hidden in Plain Sight Magic (Full Circle), Singers and Musicians from SYMO, A Hunka Hunka Elvis courtesy of David Courteney, A Magnificence Catwalk featuring stunning costumes, STORIESCAPE from Full Circle’s upcoming new show, all rounded off with the roof raising Brass Eyed Dragons

Click here to book.

Three colourful fireworks against a black background, they are pink, yellow and orange. Text reads: Closing Ceremony.

Closing Ceremony

3.45pm – 4pm

We’re going out with a celebratory bang to be created by everyone attending the Festival to bring it to a close.

We can’t wait to see you there!