Madison joins the whimsical "Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever" movement on July 16.
If a few ardent Kate Bush fans in Madison have their way, dozens of people in flouncy red dresses will reenact one of her famously eccentric videos on Saturday, July 16 in James Madison Park.
It's apparently the first-ever Midwestern installment of "The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever," which began in Brighton, England in 2013 when a performance-art group called Shambush got more than 300 people together in a tribute to Bush's video for her song "Wuthering Heights," from 1978's album The Kick Inside. It has since spread to cities ranging from Atlanta to Tel Aviv to Melbourne, with participants all getting gussied up in red dresses, stockings, and black sashes like the ones Bush wears in the video. As strange cultural happenings go, it strikes me as one of the more charming things to happen in Madison for a while (move over, Shrekfest!).
"I noticed that only one U.S. city, Atlanta, was organizing an event, and thought it would be amazing if Madison could create one," says Madison-based multi-disciplinary artist Katie Schaag. "So I ran the idea by a few of my friends and they were really excited about it too, so we decided to do it! River Bullock, Megan Milks, Bonnie Murphy, Victoria Vasys and I are organizing the event."
The organizers will hold a workshop in James Madison Park on July 14 to get all the participants on the same page. They're also looking for help with videography and audio equipment, and Schaag, for about the next 24 hours, is helping dancers order dresses made for the occasion. (Anyone interested can email her.) There are also resources linked on the Facebook event for anyone who needs to learn the moves Bush performs "Out on the wiley, windy moors" in the video (actually one of two videos released for the song).
On the day of, Schaag says, "We might do a rehearsal, a video dance, and then a final dance, to allow one that is totally free and uninhibited by cameras."