Stellar line-up for town's 25th festival

FROM humble beginnings as a small music and literary event, a Suffolk festival will be celebrating its 25th year with a “stellar” programme of entertainment.

FROM humble beginnings as a small music and literary event, a Suffolk festival will be celebrating its 25th year with a “stellar” programme of entertainment.

The Bury St Edmunds Festival will host a two-week line-up of singers, artists, bands and writers - from classical singer Lesley Garrett to comedians Adrian Edmondson and Al Murray - between May 14 and 30.

Lynsey Alexander, St Edmundsbury portfolio holder for culture and sport, said this year promised to be the best festival in the event's history.

She said: “We have put together a stellar programme. Personally, I can't wait to see Lesley Garrett and Adrian Edmondson, and the musical line-up from classical concerts at the cathedral to outdoor gigs will offer a huge variety of entertainment.”


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Mrs Alexander said the goal this year was to see more young people attending.

“We have introduced a �5 ticket for all events for anyone under the age of 17 so I'm hoping lots of young people will come along,” she said.

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Festival manager Nick Wells said the event had come a long way in a quarter of a century, adding: “We are so lucky to have some splendid performers, which means there is something for everyone to enjoy.”

This year's festival, sponsored by the East Anglian Daily Times and Greene King, will kick off with a concert in Abbey Gardens.

Queen and Madness tribute bands will perform on Friday, May 14 at 8pm in the gardens.

The following day includes discovery tours of Bury featuring street actors and musicians performing Shakespeare's sonnets, a cathedral performance by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band and a raucous night with Al Murray - the Pub Landlord - with his behind-the-bar philosophy on the world, in the Theatre Royal.

Other performances include the Moscow State Symphony, Black Umfolosi 5, and the Dubliners.

Programmes for the festival can be picked up at the tourist information office, council offices and library. For a full programme, go to www.buryfestival.co.uk or call the box office on 01284 769505.

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