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Community support is praised at Southwold Arts Festival

PUBLISHED: 12:41 12 July 2015 | UPDATED: 12:41 12 July 2015

Southwold Arts Festival 2015: street festival.

Picture: James Bass

Southwold Arts Festival 2015: street festival. Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2015

The sun shone on Southwold for eight days of exuberant music, theatre, dance and poetry as part of the town’s arts festival.

The event brought local and national talent to the town with the Sole Bay Singers, Jeffrey Holland, BBC political correspondent Ben Wright, the Kepow Theatre Company, Bob Kerr and his Whoopee Band, Denis King and more thrilling thousands of visitors - and making it even bigger than last year’s inaugural event.

Festival director Lin Le Versha said it was “quite simply outstanding”.

She added: “We were especially pleased with some of the new ideas we launched this year including the young musician showcases which proved very popular and also the George Orwell walks which was so popular that an extra session was included for the closing Saturday.

“It has been a real team effort and I want to thank not just the planning team but also all those who helped make the week so special, including the children who painted the tiles at the Electricity Green ceramic mural and all the many people who participated including our excellent stewarding teams led by Di Brown.

“It is this strong community support that makes this annual festival such a very special event for Southwold.”

Shops, businesses and voluntary organisations spilled out into the town centre with stalls, music and entertainers which kicked off last weekend with a street parade and finished on Saturday with Jazz singer Clare Teal performing numbers from the American songbook to celebrate July 4.

Deputy director Chris Ure said: “This year’s event could not have been more successful.

“The town got behind the festival and many visitors told us that they had booked to visit because it was festival week.

“There was a huge feel-good factor throughout the festival and six of the events completely sold out. It exceeded our expectations.”

And Sarah Green, chairman of the street festival group on the organising committee, said: “One of the most satisfying things from me was the mix of the audience.

“At all the events there were a sea of familiar faces but also many others who were not local and who had come for the festival.

“Many of the performers visited Southwold for the first time and we had no end of positive feedback.”

■ What did you think of this year’s Southwold Arts Festival? Write, giving your full contact details, to: Journal Postbox, 147 London Road North, Lowestoft NR32 1NB or email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk


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