Festival preparations already under way

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PREPARATIONS are under way for this year’s Bury St Edmunds Festival which, despite a condensed programme, promises to bring the usual buzzing mix of contemporary and classical music.

The 2011 Bury Festival will run for 11 days, from May 19 to 29, and will make full use of the town’s popular new music venue, with the multi-million pound Apex at the centre of activity, hosting between two and three events every day.

Kicking off the fun on May 19, in Greene King’s Westgate Brewery Gardens, will be The St Edmunds Charity Ball while, in The Apex, the rhythmic sounds of Congolese super-band, Staff Benda Bilili, will be on offer.

The Festival’s opening weekend is sure to keep the fun atmosphere alive with two highly anticipated gigs in the Abbey Gardens.

On May 20, Blues Brothers tribute Jake and Elwood will be rocking crowds with their Black Rhino Band, while on May 21 a Take That and Robbie tribute act will take to the stage.

Among favourites returning to the Festival is Sonnet Walks, which will give guests the chance to rediscover Bury while on a Shakespearean journey, and Greene King’s Real Food and Beer Festival, which will showcase East Anglia’s finest producers.

As well as an array of jazz and folk music, film, comedy and street theatre, highlights will include performances by percussionist Evelyn Glennie and saxophonist Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble, who will play haunting music in St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

The Festival brochure will be available from a variety of outlets from February 15 and on the Festival website at www.buryfestival.co.uk.

Tickets for the Abbey Gardens gigs will go on sale on February 14, with discounts for group bookings, while tickets for all other Festival events will go on sale on February 28.

To book, visit the Festival Box Office in the Apex, in Charter Square, Bury, go to www.buryfestival.co.uk or call 01284 758000.

To join Festival Friends to get the first pick of tickets and to save money, call 01284 758101.