More announced for Bury St Edmunds Festival


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Sir Willard White, Benjamin Zephaniah, Jools Holland, UB40…

With its unbeatable blend of award-winning performers, classical and contemporary musicians, films and exhibitions, drama and free street theatre the Bury St Edmunds Festival is a chance to enjoy 10 days of cultural excellence in the thriving Suffolk town from Friday 18 to Sunday 27 May.

Highlights include literary legend Benjamin Zephaniah, multi Grammy award winning South African vocal ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo (the stars of Paul Simon’s multi million selling ‘Graceland’ album’), German chanteuse Ute Lemper and best selling singer Aled Jones who will utilise the latest technology to sing a duet with his younger self!

Opera star Sir Willard White joins the Brodsky Quartet for an exclusive concert with a strong American theme. Bach’s Mass in B minor will be performed in the evocative surroundings of St Edmundsbury Cathedral by world-renowned period instrument orchestra Academy of Ancient Music with the multi award winning Tenebrae Choir.

A new Festival feature for 2018 is a series of outdoor concerts in the beautiful landscaped countryside of Nowton Park. Performers in the park include Jools Holland & His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra featuring Marc Almond, chart toppers UB40, popular singer-songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan and a non-stop party with Abba Mania.

One of the world’s leading wine experts, and much loved TV personality, Oz Clarke invites audiences to join him for an evening of wine tasting in the company of the Armonico Consort who will be playing appropriate music for each wine selected.

The Tap Pack bring their sensational kings of swing inspired dance show to Bury straight from a sell-out run at Sadler’s Wells, poet Roger McGough sets his wit and wordplay to musical of Little Machine, whilst acclaimed folk singer and legendary folk/blues guitarist and songwriter Martin Simpson is sure to pack out the town’s Station Hill Social Club. 

Bury Festival Director Nick Wells, said, ‘Bury St Edmunds is such a vibrant place throughout the year with plenty of arts and entertainment on offer. Following record success in 2017 it is a joy be able to present a festival programme which once again combines star names with local and regional talent, young and old. I hope it will truly bring a new focus on the town with a wonderful concentration and celebration of activity.’

Alongside Nowton Park and The Apex concert hall, the festival will take-over the town, with a wide variety of venues hosting events – including The Athenaeum, Theatre Royal, St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Unitarian Meeting House, Moyse’s Hall Museum, Abbeygate Cinema, Abbey Gardens, St Mary’s Church, the Hunter Club, Station Hill Social Club, All Saints Church and St John’s Church. In celebration of our historic town there will also be a number of festival walks exploring many of the iconic sites and stories of Bury St Edmunds.

Bury’s independent cinema, The Abbeygate, will be showing a season of films marking 100 years of votes for women, the season of films celebrates strong and inspiring female characters on screen and behind the camera. Films include 1964 children’s classic Mary Poppins, Nora Ephron’s Silkwood, the true story of nuclear whistleblower Karen Silkwood, and Hidden Figures, the inspiring story of three African American female NASA mathematicians.

The festival will also celebrate local talent including an exciting collaboration between Aled Jones and the young talent of Bury St Edmunds’ Voice Squad as well as performances from the St Edmundsbury Singers, The Edmund Octet and Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra.

Bury St Edmunds is a quintessential English market town with over 1,000 years of history to explore. Alongside the remarkably high number of cultural venues in the town, there are beautiful parks and gardens, award-winning restaurants, traditional markets and superb modern shopping outlets. It’s the jewel in Suffolk’s crown, surrounded by countryside and with the medieval wool towns of Lavenham and Long Melford on its doorstep, and Cambridge just 30 minutes away. With a wealth of excellent hotels, guest houses and Airbnb opportunities, the 2018 Festival is the perfect opportunity for a stay in the area to enjoy culture, history, fine food and relaxation.

For the full programme and tickets visit 

Box office 01284 758000

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