Get ready for Bank Holiday Party

If you have not already done so, please plan to be in Southwell over the August Bank Holiday weekend.  More than 60 of the best young professional classical musicians are preparing to converge on the town from across the UK to take part in the first Southwell Music Festival.

The visiting musicians are joining several local performers and Southwell’s distinguished group of visual artists who are holding their sixth biennial Open Studios event. A great weekend’s entertainment is in prospect.

More than half the events in the Festival are free and take place throughout the town across the weekend. The Festival’s Fringe programme includes jazz outside The Old Theatre Deli (Friday 22nd, 2pm), local young singers in the Methodist Church (Friday 22nd, 4pm), harpist Roisin Hickey with members of the Nottingham Youth Orchestra in the Walled Garden of the Archbishop’s Palace (Saturday 23rd, 3pm), and an illustrated lecture on Byron in Southwell by the distinguished local Byron expert Geoffrey Bond at the Southwell Library (Saturday 23rd, 4.30pm).  On Sunday 24th at 5pm a brass group will perform in Southwell Methodist Church.

Free events at Southwell Minster include the Festival Upbeat – a chamber music concert featuring artists appearing in the Festival (Friday 22nd, 12.15pm) and the Bank Holiday Organ Recital given by the Minster’s Assistant Director of Music Simon Hogan (Monday 25th August, 3.30pm).  On Saturday 23rd at 10am visiting musicians coach five young local musicians in a Masterclass in The State Chamber.

Admission to free events is on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis.

On Sunday, visiting singers and instrumentalists will provide a special musical contribution to the Minster’s regular services – Sung Eucharist at 10.30am and Evensong at 3.30pm.

Also on show throughout the town on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th (10am to 5pm daily) will be the works of more than a dozen leading local artists who have created the sixth biennial Southwell Artists’ Open Studios.

Visitors are invited to follow a simple walking route across the town, stopping off at the studios and homes of the artists.  A wide range of visual media will be on display, featuring the work of both local artists and guest artists who live nearby or have an association with the town.

The artists will be present to discuss their work and answer questions.  A £4 charge will be made which gives access to all the studios for the duration of the weekend.  All profits go to the local learning disabilities charity REACH (formerly the Southwell Care Project).  Information about the Southwell Artists’ Open Studios can be found at

Such has been the popularity of the Festival that tickets for the main concerts in the Minster and The State Chamber (formerly the Great Hall) are now in short supply.   A few are available for the Festival’s main concert – The Creation in the Minster on Saturday 23rd, and for the late night candle-lit choral concert at 10pm on Friday 22nd August.

To encourage young people to enjoy the Festival, 100 Golden Tickets are available to all ticketed performances for £5 or less.  They are only available on a first-come-first-served basis from the Cathedral Shop in Southwell on proof of identity to people who are aged 18 or under on the day of the concert.

The Festival box office is at the Cathedral Shop (01636 812933) and programme details and availability can be found here.

We look forward to seeing you at the Festival.

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