‘Make or break’ success in Holt Festival’s third year

Holt Festival's 'make or break' year reached a rousing finale on Saturday as a concert by rock maestros 10cc had a sell-out audience yelling for more.

The band's performance, at Gresham's School's outdoor Theatre in the Woods, brought the curtain down on a third festival year which saw a packed week of more than 100 events spanning music, theatre, film, comedy, dance, poetry, visual arts, family and children's shows.

Chairman Delaval Astley, Lord Hastings, said the entire festival had gone 'terrifically well' with 11 sold-out shows and overall ticket sales of 3,500 - more than twice last year's figure.

Events included appearances by ex-Monty Python star Michael Palin, classical chart-toppers I Fagiolini, composer and pianist Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, and comedian Arthur Smith.

Organisers estimate over 5,000 people were entertained on the streets of Holt with free events which accounted for about a quarter of the festival programme.

'The third year is traditionally seen as make or break for festivals. On this showing we've made it and hope to keep going,' said Lord Hastings.

But he cautioned that the festival's future depended on the continued good will and hard work of its organising team. It only received funding from North Norfolk District Council and otherwise relied on sponsorship, donations and the support of a festival friends group which contributed �7,500 this year.

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Lord Hastings especially praised the festival's 'strands within strands' programme which offered different types of performance within genres; such as classical and rock music, intellectually-challenging and madcap theatre.