Westbury’s biggest ever arts and music festival is set to take off – with a varied menu that promises something to suit everyone.
The festival, now in its eighth year, blasts into action at Club Ice on Friday 25th September when TV celebrity and radio DJ Craig Charles hits the decks with his popular funk and soul DJ set.
Meanwhile for those music lovers who opt for the more traditional start to the festival, the Laverton will be the venue for a packed evening of choral music with three local choirs and a string ensemble.
The Westbury Music and Arts festival has won the backing and sponsorship of local businesses, Westbury Town and Wiltshire Councils and a grant from the Arts Council. Run solely by volunteers it aims to provide more than a fortnight packed with a huge variety of music from classical to folk, dancing to drumming, art classes to pottery and even a free children’s show featuring a ventriloquist and magician.
And the festival also provides an opportunity to find out more about Westbury’s history and heritage with an explanatory tour of the town’s new blue plaque trail conducted by county archivist Steve Hobbs.
There is also a rare chance to see inside one of the town’s most important buildings – Leighton House, once owned by W.H.Laverton and currently the venue for officer selection.
“The festival is all about showing off what is best and brightest about the Westbury area – whether that’s talented local musicians, a chance to enjoy venues from local pubs to community halls, or the opportunity to have a go at your own talents with classes in drumming, drawing, pottery and playing the harmonica,” explained Ian Cunningham, who chairs the festival committee.
“With the support of sponsors, the festival has worked hard to ensure prices to events are kept as low as possible, with many free and charges ranging from £1 for a djembe drumming session up to £20 for a slap up meal and an evening of sophisticated jazz and swing.
“There will also be a range of events at local pubs and lunchtime concerts in All Saints church – all of which are free. It’s a chance for everyone to join in and we really hope local people will come out and support their festival. With more than 40 events on offer this year hope there’s something to suit everyone.”
For a full run down of the events, see our 4 page Festival Pullout inside. You can also find out more by picking up a brochure at the library or at the heritage centre, or by visiting the website at www.wmafestival.co.uk.
You can book tickets through the website or by calling the ticketline at 03336 663 366 (there is a charge for this). For any queries about the festival call 01373 864364.