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First Festival of Ideas is hailed a huge success

Mark Ereire-Guyer speaks at The Festival of Ideas debate at the Quaker Meeting House in Biury St Edmunds.
Mark Ereire-Guyer speaks at The Festival of Ideas debate at the Quaker Meeting House in Biury St Edmunds.

Organisers of Suffolk’s first Festival of ideas in Bury St Edmunds say the event was a terrific success.

The festival, which ran from May 22 to May 24, saw a run of debates and talks by renowned speakers around the town including the Guardian’s Owen Jones and environmentalist and columnist George Monbiot.

Appearances from critically acclaimed poet Luke Wright, commentator and theorist Dr Daniel O’Neil and authors Andrew Simms and Sue Palmer were also highlights of the festival. The Bury Art Trail saw work from local artists displayed in shops and businesses around the town.

Event organiser Mark Ereira-Guyer said he was delighted how well the festival had gone. He said: “It went extremely well - we had lots of people come along to the events at the meeting houses - we probably has in the region of 250 to 300 people for each.

“The George Monbiot talk on rewilding and how we can try and get back the nature we have lost was a tremendous event. It was very uplifting.

“The energy that was created by Owen Jones on the Saturday was amazing - we had nearly 400 people there too.

“Luke Wright in the art gallery at Smiths Row was electric, very busy and very happening. And certainly lots of people enjoyed the art trail around town - that went down extremely well.

“The event was hectic and really engaging.”

Mark said he was looking to take a rest after the inaugural festival but hoped others would take the event on next year.


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