Friend’s scheme to launch for Southwold Arts Festival

Southwold Arts Festival 2015: street festival.Punch and Judy show.Picture: James Bass

Southwold Arts Festival 2015: street festival.Punch and Judy show.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

A popular week-long festival is launching a new scheme for fans to get even more out of the event.

The Friends of Southwold Arts Festival will enable members to join the programme launch event in February and attend friends' events in the run up to the festival.

The scheme will mean that members will also be able to access priority for the events at this year's festival.

Lin Le Versha, who lives in Reydon, is the director of Southwold Arts Festival and in the past has been responsible for organising local and national education and leadership conferences and an international music festival.

Now in its third year, she said the team of organisers are more confident as a group.

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Ms Le Versha said: 'When we started we had a completely blank page, not sure if anyone would even turn up. This year we can bring things up a notch with the sort of artists we are able to attract.

'We believe we meet the needs of all ages and tastes. We will have a wide ranging programme and everyone will find something they can enjoy.

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'Each lunchtime there is a Young Musician's Classical Showcase and we saw some superb young talented people last year.'

On the opening day of the event on Saturday, July 25 there will be a circus-themed street festival where there high street will be closed to allow for entertainment on the streets.

'It is really lovely that we have the support of the town council. They provide bunting everywhere and it feels like a real street party.'

In May last year the festival was granted charity status which gives it certain benefits including exemption from VAT on advertising and the opportunity for gift aid donations. Any money made from the festival goes back into the funds for the following year.

The patron of the week-long festival is broadcaster and cultural commentator Emma Freud, who has a house in nearby Walberswick with partner Richard Curtis.

The third Southwold Arts Festival takes place from Saturday, June 25 to Saturday, July 2.

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