Ticket sales outstrip the previous year at Bury St Edmunds Festival

Bury Busk, part of the Bury St Edmunds Festival.

Bury Busk, part of the Bury St Edmunds Festival. - Credit: Gregg Brown

An annual festival which is an “important part” of Bury St Edmunds’ cultural life saw more tickets sold than the previous year.

Jay Rayner

Jay Rayner - Credit: Archant

The Bury St Edmunds Festival has brought 10 days of music, theatre, film, art, street entertainment and more to several locations around the town, finishing on Sunday, and has been enjoyed by thousands of people.

To mark reaching its 30th year, the event looked back to its roots in the early 1980s, which was a weekend of words and music.

Nick Wells, who has been festival director for 15 years, said the original idea of “mixing up art forms” was really the theme behind this year’s event.

The festival kicked off on Friday, May 15, with an energy-packed evening of salsa dancing and Cuban rhythms with acclaimed Cuban violinist Omar Puente.

Mr Wells said he did not yet have the numbers, but could say more tickets had been sold than last year “which is great”.

“It has gone really well and I have had lots of people asking what we are doing next year.

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“There’s still tremendous enthusiasm for the festival, and having the Suffolk Festival of Ideas running at the same time – it was organised by a different team – adds to the whole mix of stuff happening in Bury in May.”

Mr Wells said Gandini Juggling, which combined ballet and juggling at the Apex on May 18, was “really beautiful”, while sell-out events included Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on the opening weekend and the three festival walks around the town.

Returning acts included Evelyn Glennie, who performed at the Apex on Sunday night, the Tallis Scholars, who were at the cathedral last Wednesday, and Clare Teal, who celebrated the music of the jazz and big band world, also last Wednesday.

New faces included food critic Jay Rayner at the Apex on Saturday.

Mr Wells said festival-goers had commented on how there is “something for everyone” at the annual event.

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