Town’s featival is hailed “big success”

CLOSE to 20,000 people are thought to have experienced an annual festival which offers everything from world music to historic town centre walks.

The 26th Bury St Edmunds Festival, which ended at the weekend, has been described as a “really big success” by festival director Nick Wells.

Fewer tickets were sold this year, but Mr Wells, who has managed 11 of the festivals, said this was inevitable as the event was six days shorter this year at 11 days.

“But despite that I think it was still in the top five best-selling festivals we have done so it’s still done really well,” he said.

The festival is normally experienced by about 18,000 to 20,000 people, so this year’s estimated figure of close to 20,000 showed its impact had remained high, Mr Wells said.

For him, he said it had been the most successful in terms of “the quality and the variety and the atmosphere”.

“I think having the Apex [venue] in the town has enabled me to have some artists here we would not have previously been able to attract. I think it’s shifted it up a gear actually.”

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Mr Wells said the feedback had been “absolutely extraordinary” from both audiences and musicians. He said performers loved to come to the town, commenting on there being a real warmth from audiences and how knowledgeable they are.

He added how the Apex music and entertainment venue, which was at the centre of festival activity, had left performers “speechless” with the quality of the acoustics.

Sell-out shows this year included Congolese superband Staff Benda Bilili and a Take That and Robbie tribute night.