Bestival unveils giant Lionel Richie head


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The Independent Culture

It sounds like a hoax but the protagonists behind it swear it's true: a super-sized version of Lionel Richie's head will be officially unveiled at Bestival this summer.

Where did Killian Cooper, art director of Barcelona-based collective Hungry Castle, get the idea? “The end of the ”Hello“ video features a bust of Lionel Richie's head sculpted by a blind girl!” he answers excitedly.

Cooper and his partner in crime Dave Glass have raised £8,000 for the project on Kickstarter. As they started fundraising, they got artist Alexandra Sans Massó to work on a clay prototype. Now Lionel Richie's head will be made of nylon. Inside there are turbines to keep his head up and sandbags to keep his head down.

“The only question is how big we can afford to make it – we are somewhere between being able to make it 3.5 and 6.5 metres – so we need to do a little bit of negotiating with manufacturers,” says Glass. “I'm hoping it can be 5 metres tall.”

Visitors entering one at a time will step inside through Richie's neck. “A phone will ring,” explains Cooper. “Once they answer, they'll hear Lionel singing: 'Hello... Is it me you're looking for?'”

“Now our balloon manufacturer will use the prototype to create the final inflatable sculpture,” says Cooper. “Lionel will be inflated by internal fans, and once deflated, he becomes a head in a box that can fit into all good car boots.”

Bestival, Isle of Wight ( 5 to 8 September