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Southwell Music Festival is good news for the town

Marcus Farnsworth
Marcus Farnsworth

Shops, pubs, cafés and restaurants are welcoming the hundreds of visitors expected at the fifth annual Southwell Music Festival.

The classical music event, which has been extended to six days, features a packed programme of more than 30 events and more than 80 professional singers and players from the UK and overseas.

The festival started yesterday and will run until Monday.

Honor Dunkley, events and tourism co-ordinator for Southwell Town Council, said some retailers were going the extra mile for the extravaganza over the bank holiday.

She said: "Now that Southwell Music Festival is nationally acclaimed by The Sunday Times, Southwell is very proud to host this wonderful event, bringing visitors from across the globe to our beautiful and friendly town.

"Retailers have posted ‘festival-goers welcome here’ stickers in their windows.

"They are looking forward to greeting everyone on this very exciting weekend, with some shops opening extra on Sunday and Monday.

"Let’s hope the sun shines and visitors enjoy weaving together the magic of the music with browsing our independent shops and relaxing in our local eateries.

"There will certainly be a wonderful vibe around the town — the streets will be alive and buzzing."

The musical line-up has been put together by the festival’s artistic director and event founder, Marcus Farnsworth.

Southwell Minster hosts many performances, but there will also be shows at other venues in the town, including the Old Theatre Deli, the State Chamber, the Minster School, and the walled garden of the Archbishop’s Palace.

The main event is an evening concert in the minster on Saturday, which will feature a performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto by Nottingham’s Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who recently performed at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

In conjunction with the festival there is a ceramics fair in the Market Square on Sunday.

Held from 10am to 4.30pm, it will feature almost 40 regional and national artists.

There will also be workshops and demonstrations in Southwell Library for adults and children.

Honor said: "The ceramics fair is always very popular, with artists from across the region and around the world displaying their ceramics.

"They will be on hand to discuss their work with visitors and the event encourages visitors to be interactive."

For information go to www.southwell musicfestival.com

Tickets for festival events can no longer be booked online but are available from the cathedral shop.

Places can be booked for the ceramics fair workshops at the library by contacting Susan Morton on 01636 815788 or susanjmorton@aol.com

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