My Week: Nick Wells, Bury Festival manager

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A busy week came to a head on Thursday with the start of the Bury Festival.


Radio interview first thing. Aurora Orchestra’s stage manager arrives followed by breakdance workshop with two schools, then off to the Abbey Gardens to meet the licensing officer. Return to the Apex as two more schools rehearse for the evening’s concert, then the Abbey Gardens again for final checks before the concert. Return to the Apex to introduce the orchestra on to the stage. Orchestra and breakdancers on the same stage! Dancers miss last train home so I drive them to Cambridge, then home for dinner at 11.30pm.


In the office first thing. Tina May arrives for her gig and after that, performers rehearse for the Lesley Garrett concert and I’m taking table, chair and programmes to the Theatre Royal for Sunday’s concert. Then go to the Abbey Gardens for final checks and once that’s up and running I’m back to the Apex for Lesley’s concert and to prepare street theatre flyers. There’s a wonderful late night concert in the bar with Matthew Barley and I get home at midnight.


In the Apex first thing meeting the pianist for the morning concert, then the Abbey Gardens to meet street theatre performers. Rush back to the Apex to introduce Alexander Karpeyev to the stage then go to the Unitarian Meeting House to put out chairs. Return to the Abbey Gardens to oversee the street theatre then run to the UMH to introduce Retorica. After that it’s back to the Apex where Sierra Maestra are arriving and then go and buy refreshments for Sunday afternoon performers. Great gig from Sierra Maestra after which I head home.


Day starts early sorting out a musician who’s missed the train. I read a service at the Cathedral before heading back to the Apex to introduce musicians on to the stage. I take refreshments to Theatre Royal before enjoying a bit of the WSYJO set in the bar at the Apex. Then off to the Cathedral with musicians’ refreshments before going to the Theatre Royal for afternoon concert. After that I nip into Cathedral to see the singers then return to the Apex to say hello to Stacey Kent who is sound-checking. Back to the Cathedral for the concert and after that unload back at the Apex and home at midnight for dinner.