Four day festival has ‘all the elements’

Organisers of Bury St Edmunds Festival have promised a ‘hectic long weekend of excitement and exhaustion’ after the event was cut from two weeks to four days.

Festival manager Nick Wells said this year’s condensed extravaganza will capture ‘all the elements that people know and love’ with soprano Lesley Garrett and actor Timothy West among the star names.

It was scaled back as St Edmundsbury Borough Council plans to redevelop and relaunch the 26-year-old event next year.

Mr Wells said: “It’s a fairly hectic breather but it’s an opportunity to gather our thoughts, rethink and seek feelings from other people aswell.

“It’s been a challenge getting everything that we love about the festival into four days but the result will be a hectic long weekend of excitement and exhaustion.”

Other crowd pullers at the May 16 to 19 event include Cuban band Sierra Maestra, Leeds piano competition prizewinner Jayson Gillham, Timothy West who will explore Janacek’s musical love letter with the Pavao String Quartet, choral group the Tallis Scholars and jazz singer Stacey Kent. There will be a new series of guided walks including a late night ghost walk, tribute nights in the Abbey Gardens and the popular Greene King Real Beer and Food Festival returns.

Organisers are looking into ways in which people can offer feedback and ideas to help shape the festival’s future.

They are also exploring the possibility of rewards for those who have attended the most shows. Visit www.buryfestival.co.uk or call the box office on 01284 758000.