A Huge 'Thank you' from Malcolm Creese

As you are no doubt aware, this year’s Festival had to be cancelled following government regulations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. This led to a very precarious financial situation for us, but the Festival’s future now looks a lot safer thanks to the generous donations made by our loyal ticket-buyers and supporters.

I offer my heartfelt thanks to all the wonderful art and music-lovers who have helped to secure our future. I feel humbled by your response when it looked as if we wouldn’t survive this unprecedented disaster. We’ve been astonished by the number of people who have chosen to donate some or all of their ticket money to help the Festival survive. Thank you so much!

I am aware that ours is by no means the only organisation needing financial support at this time, and arts charities are not always foremost in people’s minds when times are hard. But hundreds of you have been telling us how much the Festival means to you, and that we must do everything possible to continue our annual programme of events as well as the work we do in schools and care homes.

As a professional musician myself, I feel very sorry for my fellow musicians and other artists who have had their livelihoods all but wiped out. I found it hard to call up more than a hundred of them to tell them their Festival bookings were cancelled. As I begin to put together next year’s programme, my aim is to re-invite as many as possible.

I feel sad for our venues, most of which are village churches and halls that are missing out on the income they need. Local businesses, many of which work closely in partnership with the Festival, are being hit hard too. I hope that they will recover and my thoughts are with them.

I am pleased to report that my preparations for the 2021 programme are well underway now, and even at this early stage a stellar line-up of world-class performers is taking shape. The dates are 29 May to 12 June; please put them in your diary now. I look forward to seeing you here for a well-deserved celebration of music, arts and walking. Meanwhile, please keep safe and well, and thanks again for your loyalty and generosity.

Malcolm Creese, Artistic Director


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In little more than a decade the three singers, who began their musical journey together busking on the streets and singing in pubs, folk clubs and football terraces, have risen to become UK folk...

2020 Taster: String Quartets...

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Four top string quartets to feature in the 2020 Festival.