Full line-up revealed for Bury St Edmunds Festival

The launch of the Bury Festival at the Apex in Bury. Nick Wells (left), Mayor Patrick Chung and Cllr

The launch of the Bury Festival at the Apex in Bury. Nick Wells (left), Mayor Patrick Chung and Cllr Jo Rayner. - Credit: Archant

The Bury St Edmunds Festival got off to a flying start on Thursday night with the launch of the line-up brochure.

Yolanda Brown - Bury St Edmunds Festival 2016

Yolanda Brown - Bury St Edmunds Festival 2016 - Credit: Archant

Nigel Kennedy has already grabbed the headlines, with his performance on the first night at the Apex tipped to be one of the hottest tickets of the festival.

“One of the strengths of the festival is the incredibly broad range of acts,” said festival manager Nick Wells to the crowd on Thursday night at the Apex launch. “Of course we’re absolutely delighted to have the likes of Nigel Kennedy here, David Puttnam and a host of other big and celebrated and famous names.”

He went on to say another major part of the festival for him was giving “local talent the opportunity to get involved”.

This sentiment was echoed by St Edmundsbury Borough Council leader John Griffiths, who came along for the launch.

David Puttnam - Bury St Edmunds Festival 2016

David Puttnam - Bury St Edmunds Festival 2016 - Credit: Archant

“It’s all very pleasing because the festival is going from strength to strength,” he said after Mr Wells’ presentation. “It brings a lot of people to Bury St Edmunds – and indeed west Suffolk – and engages lots of people from our schools and colleges in celebrating a lot of the good things that we have in this part of the world.”

Before Mr Wells took to the stage, cabinet member for leisure and culture at St Edmundsbury Borough Council Jo Rayner praised the benefits the festival had brought to the town.

“What I love about the festival is that it’s an extraordinary concentration of events in a small period of time,” she said. “The Bury Festival appeals to a wide audience and looking at this programme there really is something for everyone in there.”

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She spoke of the ongoing success of the festival, adding: “All of this success is down to the talented and dedicated team that have such a passion for this work. Thanks to Nick and his team for delivering such a wonderful programme.”

Nigel Kennedy’s appearance was announced last week, but the full line-up revealed several other gems for festival lovers.

Jazz star Courtney Pine will be on stage on May 23 at the Apex, with saxophonist Yolanda Brown at the same venue on May 28.

Duo Flanders and Swann will be at the Theatre Royal on May 20, while simultaneously in the Athenaeum wine critic Oz Clarke will be on stage as part of Oz and Armonico Drink to Music!

For the £24 ticket, audience members also get four tasting glasses of wine to accompany the show.

Mr Wells said people might not be aware that Oz Clarke, famed for his wine television show with James May, was also a singer for many years.

“They’re going to be exploring, or possibly making some tenuous links, between baroque music and wine,” Mr Wells said.

The festival runs from May 20-29. Tickets are available from 01284 758000 or from the website.

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