Barbican Theatre announce high-octane summer spectacle at PACE

Engines roar, as the chequered flag drops – will you be there to witness it?

Barbican Theatre and Plymouth Gladiators Speedway are excited to launch Petrol Headz; a bank holiday weekend spectacular showcasing the modified car scene and the surrounding street culture, that will leave your car windows shaking, make you want to paint your car and jump on it’s roof to dance your socks off. Who said cars were just for driving?!

Petrol Headz will be a show like no other; roaring sound systems, drift cars, showcars, speedway bikers, skateboard tricks, parkour stunts, street dancers, DJs and MC battles and much more!

Engines roar, as the chequered flag drops – will you be there to witness it? 

Image: Members of Barbican Theatre ReBels Dancers, l-r Ella Clarke,Scarlett James & Cerys Williams,  Prime Skatepark members, l-r Ash Dixon & Lucien Harris,  and Plymouth Parkour member Karol Zalewsk (image credit Dom Moore)

Laura Kriefman, Barbican Theatre’s CEO says

“I’ve been obsessed with the artistry of the modified car scene and all the surrounding street culture for years. I love the precision movement displayed by drifters, and speedway riders. I can’t get enough of airkit and hydraulics cars and the technical skills behind it. I love the brilliance of the neon underlighting, epic vinyl wrapping and that’s before you add in the soundsystem culture that goes with it!  

I grew up going to Monster Truck shows and steams ups with my mum – it was inevitable that I was going to want to make a show about cars – they’re much more nimble than dockyard cranes! Who wouldn’t want to see immaculately designed cars, amongst kickass skateboard and parkour tricksters, speedway bikes and trick cars all accompanied by some absolute tunes?”  

Image: Plymouth Parkourist Josh Champion (credit Dom Moore)

The Barbican Theatre team approached Plymouth Speedway back in the autumn to discuss the proposed Petrol Headz event. With a history of taking work to unusual spaces and creating site-specific work the Speedway arena was an exciting prospect for them. Not only is the arena able to offer a large capacity for spectators (1200+) the size of the grounds makes access for drift cars, show cars and all the other street culture groups a real possibility. 

Ian Jordan, Plymouth Gladiator Speedway Director says

“We’re thrilled to partner and collaborate with Barbican Theatre to optimise the potential of our PACE Plymouth Arena and Community Events Project; transforming the Coliseum Arena from a Speedway Stadium into a major Community and Entertainment Hub for The Ocean City and the whole of South West. The Barbican team share our vision of innovation to create new boundaries involving Speedway Racing and beyond, with a game-changing fusion of Extreme Sport, the Wider Arts, Community and family entertainment.”

Image: 2003 Nissan 350z 3.5 v6 custom built by Jay Peters (image credit Dom Moore)

Barbican Theatre has a history of working with diverse communities, and have known for years how big the modified car scene is across Plymouth and the Peninsular. 

With award-winning creative Laura Kriefman now leading the Barbican team – Petrol Headz felt like a great post-covid project. The team began conversations with George from GeorgesCarMedia renowned YouTube Content Creator and key member of the southwest modified car scene and soon had a team of incredible car modifiers, sound system experts and car wrappers from the area.  Offering their in-depth knowledge of the scene they collaborate with us on language to use, groups to engage and what to feature in the show.

Barbican Theatre is passionate about building Plymouth’s own creative voice, and giving it a platform. A show like PetrolHeadz is only possible thanks to the brilliant collective creativity from Plymouth Parkour, Prime Skate, Rhythm City, Dip Demons, ReBels Music, Driverse, George’s Car Media and many other amazing artists we are lucky to partner and work with.   

Image: Ash Dixon & Lucien Harris from Prime Skatepark (image credit Dom Moore) 

Barbican Theatre has employed over 100 creatives throughout the lockdowns, and are excited that PetrolHeadz will offer employment and training opportunities for around 240 people – all from Plymouth and the surrounding areas.

Image: Barbican ReBels Dancing On Cars Group members l-r Cerys Williams, Scarlett James & Aimee Shaw  (image credit Dom Moore) 

Petrol Headz will involve a cast of members of the car scene, Barbican ReBels, semi-pro and professional performers – and there will be opportunities to get involved- whether you’re a drift car driver, have built a car you’d like to show off on the exhibition field, are a dancer, skater, parkourist or want to learn how to produce events.

Image: Nick Bond, Drift Car Driver tests out the Plymouth Speedway track (image credit Dom Moore)

The first wave of tickets, for the grandstand seating areas, are released for sale (online only) from 10am on Wednesday 31 March. Full £17. Concessions £13 (including under 16s, students, registered disabled, BSL interpreter accessible seats, audio description accessible seats and over 60s).

We are also introducing ‘Pay It Forward’ tickets for £13 where you can buy an extra ticket that we can then offer to a member of our community who would otherwise be restricted from attending due to financial barriers. Further seats and ticket types will be released at a later date.

All ticket prices stated are inclusive of any booking charges or fees.  

For updates on Barbican Theatre activity, events and opportunities please visit our website or follow us on social media