Bury St Edmunds Festival kicks off with a bang

The Acropirates entertain with street theatre in the Abbey Gardens as part of the Bury Festival line

The Acropirates entertain with street theatre in the Abbey Gardens as part of the Bury Festival line-up. Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI. - Credit: Mariam Ghaemi

A relaxed, party atmosphere has taken over Bury St Edmunds as its annual music and arts festival gets under way.

The Glenmoriston Pipe Band perform as part of the Bury St Edmunds Festival. Pictured in Abbeygate St

The Glenmoriston Pipe Band perform as part of the Bury St Edmunds Festival. Pictured in Abbeygate Street. Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI. - Credit: Mariam Ghaemi

The Bury St Edmunds Festival kicked off on Friday, May 19, and will run until Sunday, May 28, bringing a wide variety of entertainment from classical music and films to street theatre and exhibitions to the town.

Its opening night saw Latin act the ‘Edwin Sanz Salsa Orchestra’ get everyone up on their feet dancing at the Apex, while ‘The Westbrook Blake’, who performed a jazz concert at St John’s Church, received a standing ovation, and ‘Acoustic Beatles’, at the Hunter Club, were said to have been “brilliant”.

Festival director Nick Wells said: “The band at the Apex had all flown in from Zurich and Amsterdam overnight and were all shattered, but put on the most amazing gig. The dance floor was packed from the moment the DJ started to when it finished.

“It’s an amazing atmosphere and ticket sales have just been fantastic, and I think everyone has just entered into the spirit of it, which is brilliant.”

Rick Wakeman. Picture: CHRIS MORRIS.

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


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Crowds gathered in the Abbey Gardens for the programme of street theatre, with lots of laughs from little ones for the Acropirates.

The outdoor entertainment continued into Abbeygate Street, where the Glenmoriston Pipe Band brought the sounds of Scotland to the Suffolk market town.

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Festival highlights over the next few days include ‘Clare Teal and her Mini Big Band’ tonight, May 20, at the Apex and guitarist John Williams, also at the Apex, on Monday, May 22.

Keyboardist Rick Wakeman, whose Piano Portraits show at the Apex on Thursday, May 25, is a sell-out, is expected to generate much excitement later in the week.

Another sell-out includes the walk Yarns, which will explain the importance of sheep to the region.

Mr Wells said: “One thing I really like is I have spoken to lots of people who are going to so many things. It’s not just one thing, it’s the breadth and range of things people are going to that’s the highlight.”

He said ticket sales are already doing better than last year.

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