Festivals news

First tastes of Wells 2018

WELLS Literature Festival is always an enthralling mixture of non-fiction and fiction, poetry and politics, ecology and entertainment, and this year’s event, from 19th to 27th October is possibly the most diverse to date. Geographically the speakers will talk about Vietnam, Herzogovina, Gloucester Crescent, America, Gernika, the Middle East, Porlock, Westminster, Nicaragua, Dartmoor, the Rhine,…

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Mungo Jerry headlines at Poole Harbour Fest

WESTBOURNE resident Ray Dorset has only a short journey when his band Mungo Jerry plays at the Poole Harbour Festival from 27th to 29th July. Known for their immortal In the Summertime, the band headlines the festival, which brings more than 30 acts to three stages, as well as offering children’s entertainment, street food, local…

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Huge line-up for Dorset’s own Fringe

IT is hard to believe this is only the third year of the Shaftesbury Fringe – in that short time the festival of comedy, theatre, music, film, poetry and more, on the first weekend of July, has moved into the big league of fringe events. This year’s Fringe, from Friday 29th June to Sunday 1st…

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Gillingham Festival – at your service

GILLINGHAM Festival continues to attract some big names to the week-long programme of music, comedy and community events, this year from 29th June to 8th July, when the headliners include Arthur Smith, a veteran of the alternative comedy circuit, and folk singer Ralph McTell. The opening gig at Gillingham School features one of the West…

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Farley Music Festival

THE annual music festival at All Saint’s Church in Farley east of Salisbury, continues until Sunday 24th June. On Wednesday 20th, pianist Ariel Lanyi comes to Farley to play Mozart’s tragic Adagio in B minor and the contrasted Sonata in D major by Schubert. Another pianist, the Hungarian-American Julia Hamos, takes centre stage on Thursday…

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Universal language of music

CHRISTCHURCH Priory Music and Arts Festival continues until Saturday 16th June with a varied and inventive programme that includes Beer and Hymns, a ceilidh in the nave and a recital from a former chorister. On Monday the Bournemouth University Big Band peps up lunchtime with a concert of jazz, swing and pops, and in the…

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Beaminster Festival – celebrating the arts in West Dorset

BEAMINSTER Festival, running this year from 23rd June to 1st July, is one of the West Country’s finest multi-arts festivals, a celebration of music, literature, theatre and comedy which brings top class national and international performers to one of West Dorset’s prettiest towns. New artistic director Lois Pearson has broadened the range of events, particularly…

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Hanford School’s first arts festival

ARTISTS and art experts, including the award-winning portrait painter Michael Taylor, will be going back to school in Dorset, as Hanford School near Child Okeford hosts its first art festival, from 18th to 22nd June. The dramatic coast and beautiful countryside of Dorset and the West Country have attracted generations of artists but you don’t…

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Candide, Iford Opera

FOR more than 30 years, Opera della Luna founder and director Jeff Clarke has wanted to stage Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, the opera (or is it a musical) version of Voltaire’s classic, first published in 1759. He always thought that the tiny Harold Peto cloister at Iford, where he has launched so many productions, was too…

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From Ann Widdecombe to Toyah at Devizes

THIS year’s Devizes Festival, from 31st May to 17th June has the most ambitious programme yet, covering classical, world, jazz and popular music, spoken word, comedy, history, talks, theatre and film at venues around the town. The programme begins with former MP turned novelist and television star Ann Widdecombe on Friday 31st May and the…

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