Bury St Edmunds Festival is already out-selling last year’s event

Bury St Edmunds Festival director Nick Wells.

Bury St Edmunds Festival director Nick Wells. - Credit: Mark Bullimore

This year’s Bury St Edmunds Festival is already out-selling last year’s, with the programme mix believed to be the reason it is proving such a hit.

Rick Wakeman. Photo: CHRIS MORRIS

Rick Wakeman. Photo: CHRIS MORRIS - Credit: Chris Morris

The music and arts festival takes place over 10 days between Friday, May 19, and Sunday, May 28, at various locations around the town.

Flautist Sir James Galway, guitarist John Williams and keyboardist Rick Wakeman are some of the star names who will grace the festival stage.

But the programme, which includes 59 events, offers more than music, with film, dance, drama, exhibitions, street theatre and walking tours also featuring.

Festival director Nick Wells is pleased with how the preparations are going, adding he thinks the line-up has gone down particularly well this year.

Rick Wakeman. Photo: CHRIS MORRIS

Rick Wakeman. Photo: CHRIS MORRIS - Credit: Chris Morris

He said: “Because we had Nigel Kennedy in the programme last year it was such a coup and I thought ‘how can we follow that?’ but actually the response to the programme has been absolutely amazing. We are out-selling last year as well.”

He added: “Quite a few people have stopped me and said ‘a really good programme this year’. They are obviously not just being nice because they are buying tickets.”

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He said tickets for Rick Wakeman, who will perform his Piano Portraits concert at the Apex on May 25, sold out really quickly, with other sell-outs including the walk Yarns, which will explain the importance of sheep to the region.

The popularity of the National Youth Music Theatre’s musical HONK! means an extra performance is being squeezed in, so there are shows at 4.30pm (moved forward from 5pm) and 7pm on May 21.

James Galway and Clare Teal are also selling extremely well, Mr Wells said, and there are only a handful of tickets left for John Willams.

Mr Wells said: “What began in the early 1980s as a series of concerts over three weekends has grown into a wonderful and annual celebration of music and the arts, which always creates a wonderful buzz and joyous feeling in the town during those special 10 days in May.”

Festival events will also take place in venues including the Athenaeum, the Theatre Royal, St Edmundsbury Cathedral and Abbeygate Cinema. Brochures are available from the Apex and other locations, and the line-up can be found at www.buryfestival.co.uk

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