Bath gets ready to party!

BATH’s streets, open spaces and venues will come alive to the sound of music when the traditional free Party in the City, on Friday 17th May, launches this year’s ten-day festival of music and literature with an evening of live music, attracting crowds of up to 20,000 people of all ages.

Party in the City includes every kind of music – classical, jazz, pop, punk, folk and choral, spread across 36 venues including outdoor stages at Queen Square and Parade Gardens. The party atmosphere is enhanced by the festival bars and stalls selling delicious fresh cooked street food. The evening’s sponsor, SouthGate Bath adds to the fun with an al fresco party, with food, drink and live acts on two stages.

The evening begins at Kingston Parade, beside Bath Abbey, with Pitch Invasion, a community street performance inspired by the beautiful game. Gather at 6pm to enjoy the show, commissioned by the festival, and inspired by the sounds and songs of the football terraces at Bath City FC. Composer Omar Shahryar and choreographer Deepraj Singh have been working with children from St Michael’s Junior Church School and Roundhill Primary School as well as members of Action on Hearing Loss educational day services and the football club to create this unique experience.

Music at Queen Square begins at 6pm with the Orchestra of Everything, a 40-piece local orchestra playing an eclectic mix of film/TV themes, rock, pop, jazz and classical music. From 7.30pm bluegrass party band Arkansaw Jukebox take to the stage playing a wide range of covers, including the Sex Pistols, Radiohead and Stormzy. Bringing the Queen Square party to a close are Giovanni L’Immigrato, a 10-piece folk-indie group, with their own brand of high energy hoe downs and instant fun.

At Parade Gardens, from 6.40pm Bristol based singer-songwriter Danny McMahon will play a set of authentic modern country, followed from 9.20 by the Blues Others. The 30-plus indoor venues, including Komedia, St Swithin’s Church and Widcombe Social Club, will be offering free live music.

The colourful Party in the City programme, with a map and full list of venues and times, will be widely available before and during the evening of Friday 17th May. This year for the first time the Bath Festival is asking partygoers to donate £1 for a programme, to pay the costs of putting on Party in the City and to keep it as a free event. It also reflects the fact that the festival has no local government funding and is a charity. There will be an army of volunteers shaking buckets on the streets on the night.

For more on the festival, visit and look out for more news and previews on the Fine Times Recorder.

Pictured: Scenes around last year’s Party in the City.