Taking place at dusk above the River Thames, Fly By Night pays beautiful homage to some of the First World War’s unsung heroes: the military pigeons that played crucial roles delivering messages between distant personnel. The call of a whistle provides the signal for over 1,500 trained pigeons to emerge from their coop and soar, swoop and glide through the skies, with the leg bands that once carried vital messages replaced by tiny LED lights to create a glorious spectacle in the evening sky. This public artwork was originally presented by Duke Riley and Creative Time at New York City’s Brooklyn Navy Yard in 2016.
To make this project happen, we are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help Duke and his team train and guide the pigeons leading up to and during the performances on 21, 22 and 23 June. This unusual role is a really exciting opportunity to learn more about pigeon fancying, as well as to be an integral part of a groundbreaking outdoor show.
Please note: as well as being essential to the actual performances, Pigeon Handlers will be required to attend four training sessions at the performance space in Thamesmead, on dates of their choice between 14 May and 19 June.
Requirements for the role:
- It’s great if you can sign up to all three performance dates. This will help us to build a cohesive team during the event, and you will get more from the experience overall (shifts are not necessarily a whole day, often volunteering is spread over the day and evening time)
- You must be 18 years old or over to volunteer
- Able to take direction from the GDIF staff team
- GDIF prides itself on being an accessible event, and we expect all volunteers to promote and take an active role in ensuring access for all audience members and volunteers during the event
- We need people who are friendly and outgoing
- It’s great if you have some enthusiasm for the arts and being outdoors
- Able to work as part of a team
- Be physically fit, comfortable with heights and at ease with handling pigeons
All volunteers will be given full support and supervision throughout their volunteering period. We provide a Volunteer Induction a couple of weeks before the Festival which all volunteers are strongly encouraged to attend.
We aim to make volunteering with GDIF accessible to all, so if you let us know of any needs you may require support with we will endeavour to accommodate this.
We are happy to reimburse travel and refreshment expenses as a flat fee of £5 or £10 per day. As we are a charity, please request the amount that corresponds with how much you have spent on travel and refreshments.
If you would like more information on how to apply for this opportunity, please get in touch with GDIF's Volunteer Coordinator Harry Forshaw, using the email below, who will be able to provide you with some more information.