Bury St Edmunds: 8,000 to 10,000 are thought to have enjoyed the Bury St Edmunds Festival

Mbawula, one of the acts who performed at this year's Bury St Edmunds Festival. Mbawula, one of the acts who performed at this year's Bury St Edmunds Festival.

Mariam Ghaemi West Suffolk senior reporter mariam.ghaemi@archant.co.uk
Thursday, May 29, 2014
10:51 AM

This year’s Bury St Edmunds Festival – which brought its annual plethora of art and entertainment to the town – was enjoyed by 8,000 to 10,000 people, it is estimated.

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Ten days of festival fever drew to an end at the weekend, with a finale of music, dance, film and comedy.

This year’s festival was back up to 10 days and featured more than 60 events at various locations around the town.

Festival manager Nick Wells said one of his personal favourites was the Supersize Polyphony 2 concert at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, which he described as “extraordinary”.

On how this year’s festival had gone, he said: “It’s been really good and there’s been a really nice sort of vibe around and it’s been lovely getting to know members of the audience and seeing familiar faces turn up time after time after time which is great.”

He estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people had enjoyed the festival, including ticketed and free events, those taking part and also others who had stumbled across performances.

He said during the festival people had commented on how strong this year’s programme has been.

He said it was the range of events, as well as the involvement of local people that made the festival so special. “It brings people together and I think it’s a really important part of the festival,” he said.

The Bury Songwriting Competition final at the Hunter Club on May 16 showcased acts from the area and a huge local choir joined Mbawula for an evening of South African grooves and jazz at the Apex on May 17.

Mr Wells said among the sell-out attractions were the three guided walks, including “crime and punishment”, which brought to life crimes in or connected with the town stretching back to the 14th Century.

He said while the 4 Girls 4 Hearts concert on May 16 had not sold out, nearly 300 people was an amazing number to attract for a lunchtime performance.

Mr Wells said the Bury St Edmunds Festival was increasingly on the map for people outside of the area, but the majority of the audience are locals.

“I sometimes get people phoning up asking what dates the festival are because they want to spend a week in Bury during the festival,” he said.

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