About the Festival

Southwell Music Festival is an annual, top-quality classical music festival which takes place each August Bank Holiday to celebrate classical music, to raise the profile of the town and its magnificent medieval Minster, and to inspire local musicians – especially young people.

The festival is the idea of former Southwell Minster Head Chorister, now award-winning international baritone, Marcus Farnsworth who was brought up in the area and continues to have strong links with the town.

“Like so many people I love Southwell Minster and wish it, and the town, were more widely known. I also want to encourage more people to share an enjoyment of classical music. In our inaugural Festival we brought some of the very best young professional musicians to Southwell and successfully provided opportunities for local musicians – especially young people – to take part.”

Click here to read about our founders, staff & patrons.

Southwell – a small, historic town in rural Nottinghamshire on the edge of Sherwood Forest – is the ideal place for a festival. Dominating the town is its Minster – seat of the Bishops of Southwell and Nottingham and a centre for high quality music-making.

By kind permission of the Dean and Chapter, Festival performances are centred at the Minster, and in the historic State Chamber of the Archbishop’s Palace which has undergone major refurbishment thanks to a substantial grant from The Heritage Lottery Fund.

  • 2012

    Marcus Farnsworth develops idea for a Festival in Southwell

  • 2013

    First Committee meetings held


  • August 2014

    Inaugural Southwell Music Festival

  • 2016

    Festival extends to 6 days


  • 2019

    Festival Marquee is erected for the first time