Film of what happened when a ‘flash mob’ orchestra played Ravel’s Bolero at a city centre bus station is being broadcast on YouTube.
The busy Eldon Square Bus Station in Newcastle was brought to a momentary stand still as 40 amateur musicians combined to perform the piece made famous by Torvill and Dean.
Flautists, violinists and drummers weaved between the crowds as they played, to the delight of surprised on-lookers who were given no warning what was about to happen.
The performance was the idea of local artist Anton Hecht. Amateur musicians from the North-East based Cobwebs Orchestra came together to stage the flash-mob, which coincides with the opening of a new 40-shop mall at Eldon Square Shopping Centre, of which the bus station forms a part.
Anton explained: “I had a vision of musicians suddenly appearing in a space where nobody would expect them, and seeing how passengers would react.
“Eldon Square Bus Station is a wonderful building where people are wiling away a few minutes, not doing much – it was the perfect environment to turn into a performance space.”
Andy Jackson of the Cobwebs Orchestra added: “Bolero is a piece of music familiar to everyone and has a marvellous rythym and a tune which just grows and grows.
“Our volunteer players were really excited by the idea and came from as far away as Humberside and Cumbria to be part of the performance.”
Eldon Square Bus Station, opened in 2007 by Newcastle City Council in an £11m investment, is used by almost two million passengers a year. The council, Nexus and Eldon Square Shopping Centre helped in staging the event.
Andy Bairstow of passenger transport body Nexus, which manages the station, said: “We helped Anton and Andy stage this event as part of our public arts programme.
“We thought the performance would delight and surprise passengers. People think of bus stations as dreary places but Eldon Square is a modern, bright and airy space that was perfect.”