Leicester celebrates Chinese New Year with spectacular shows

By Azim Saiyed

People of Leicester flocked to the New Walk Museum to celebrate Chinese New Year last weekend(Sat 5-Sun 6FEB), as Cosmopolitan Arts organised a string of dazzling events including a procession through the city.

A roaring good time: Large crowd pictured at the finale light show at the Green Dragon Square.

The procession travelled from De Montfort University (DMU) to the clocktower with the beautiful and vibrant finale performance taking place in Green Dragon Square.

Amanda Leandro, founder of the organisation, said: “Considering this year’s Covid-19 issues, we had a massive turnout.

“Everyone was very happy even though the heavens opened up.

“We want to use arts to transcend language barriers by exposing people to other cultures.

“We also hope to promote cultural integration within the community.

“We live in a multicultural society and it is important to build bridges between different cultural communities.”

There were roughly 2,000 people who paraded through the streets of Leicester and the traditional Chinese dragon led the procession from the front.

Students from DMU and University of Leicester turned up in their numbers to take part in the occasion.

Saturday’s exhibition at the New Walk Museum offered a whole range of activities from Chinese calligraphy to live musical performances by Euphoria.

Fire breather: Performers play dragon act in costume at New Walk Museum.

Cosmopolitan Arts has set up Chinese New Year celebrations for the past six years and the Confucius Institute at DMU has also collaborated with it for the last three years.

The wider aim of the organisation is to achieve social harmony and equality.

Alongside these eye-catching performances and successful events, the organisation has been researching Chinese heritage at the same time.

The relationship between Cosmopolitan Arts and Leicester City Council has allowed the team to put on these wonderful events since 2011.

The team is currently working on a documentary screening project involving 15 different culture groups.

Amanda said: “More people should open their eyes and get involved in these events.

“Every single culture should be enjoyed, embraced and experienced.”

Her motive to tackle social inequality has guided her to carry out workshops at the African Caribbean Centre in Leicester to help ethnic minority children.

If you would like to find out more information about future events, then please visit: www.cosmopolitanarts.co.uk.

Leicester gym chains to freeze payments during Coronavirus outbreak

By Samuel Gill

Gym chains were one of the latest to close this past Friday (MAR20) alongside pubs, leisure centres, clubs, theatres, cinemas and restaurants in new measures announced by Boris Johnson in order to tackle COVID-19 also known as Coronavirus.

This led to potential worry from customers due to the amount of time that the pandemic could last and as a result, gym chains taking money from customers still during this.

These worries have been confounded though with many of the large chains committed to pausing members’ payments including PureGym which has two locations in Leicester (St Georges Way and Walnut Street).

When gyms reopen, payments will be credited by any outstanding amount from their current subscription and classes/workouts will be launched on their app.

Other chains to announce this move include Virgin Active, David Lloyd Clubs, The Gym and Fitness First with many helping customers out in these uncertain times.

The Cookie set to close amid Coronavirus outbreak

By Samuel Gill

The Cookie in Leicester is the latest venue to close it’s doors amid the Coronavirus outbreak as the music industry becomes one of the big losers in the global pandemic.

Based in the High Street, it acts as a bar and a gig venue, very popular for seeing up and coming acts with the likes of Tom Grennan and DMA’s among others previously gracing the stage in its basement.

Many venues not only in this city but across the country have either closed their doors until further notice, like the Cookie, or just are taking it gig by gig after the Government’s advice to ban mass gatherings.

The venue released the following statement earlier today urging their customers to follow the advice given to them regarding the virus.

“It’s with great sadness that under the current government guidelines, we must close The Cookie until further notice.

As always the safety and health of staff, customers and artists is of the upmost importance. This incredibly difficult decision has not been made lightly.

We hope this closure will be short lived and we can welcome you back very soon. We strongly encourage you to follow the advice of Public Health Officials and as always we appreciate your support during this difficult time for all.”

With such gigs as October Drift and Wide Eyed Festival to come in the next few months, the venue have also been quick to say that all ticket holders will be contacted about a ticket shift or a refund.

Storm Dennis causes widespread disruption across Leicestershire

By Harry Shellard

Storm Dennis hit the county in devastating fashion at the weekend with a number of floods breaking out across Leicestershire.

Storm Dennis is the latest storm to hit Leicester and is making a similar impact to the previous week’s Storm Ciara.

Gusts of wind up to 60mph and thundery downpours have resulted in severe floods, with some roads being completely blocked and submerged.

This caused huge travel issues across the county with trainlines being flooded and many flights being cancelled at East Midlands Airport, causing havoc for passengers leaving the country and on returning flights.

Last week’s Storm Ciara had only recently passed and the onslaught of treacherous weather has taken its toll.

A total of 27 flood warnings have been issued in Leicester, with Sileby being one of the worst areas affected.

Loughborough MP Jane Hunt described the flood to BBC Radio Leicester as “The worst it’s been for a long time.”

Ms Hunt had meetings with local authorities and emergency services about the high flood risk in the area a few weeks prior. After visiting the most affected parts of Sileby on Sunday, Ms Hunt is launching an investigation into the matter.

The task to clear up the destruction of the immense storm will continue this week with the help of emergency services and the Leicestershire and Rutland 4X4 response team.

The remainder of the week is set to be much calmer, but the rain and wind will inevitably return by Friday.

Jo Brand set for De Montfort Hall benefit gig

By Samuel Gill

Jo Brand will be involved in a benefit gig tomorrow night (WEDFEB19) at De Montfort Hall for the Leicester Comedy Festival.

Tickets are priced at £25 with limited tickets still available for the show which also includes special guests Arthur Smith, Hal Cruttenden and Phil Nichol.

All of them are well known on the circuit and have multiple TV appearances on such shows as Live at the Apollo to their name.

Click here to buy tickets for this special gig which is bound to be packed full of laughs.