Picture gallery: Sun shines down on Southwold’s first arts festival

Southwold Arts Festival 2014: Street Festival.Crowds of people watching Aerialism perform on South G

Southwold Arts Festival 2014: Street Festival.Crowds of people watching Aerialism perform on South Green.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

The organisers of Southwold's first arts festival have hailed the opening street fair a huge success and hope people will continue to visit the town as the festival continues this week.

The eight-day celebration got underway yesterday with a free street festival in the town centre which included a parade led by the Suffolk School of Samba and local schoolchildren, theatre performances, a storyteller, choirs and a range of bands.

Sarah Green, one of the festival coordinators, said: 'It was a wonderful day and the atmosphere was electric from the outset.

'We were so lucky with the weather because the forecast looked grim, but the rain held off until about 4pm and even then we didn't let it ruin the festival. The samba band played in the pouring rain and hundreds of people still turned out to watch the Sing While You Work competition, which was won by the High Street Choir made up of about 20 business representatives from the town.'

The event was sponsored by the My Southwold project, which was set up with a Portas grant to support independent businesses in Southwold and safeguard the vitality of the high street.


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Ms Green said: 'The town was packed with people and businesses were spilling out onto the street with their stalls.

'It really was a whole community event which was particularly nice to see.'

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The festival continued last night with a sold out concert by the Operababes, followed this evening by the Vin Garbutt and John Ward Folk Concert at St Edmunds Hall from 7.30pm.

The festival will run until next Saturday and other events include a performance from violinist Tasmin Little with pianist Piers Lane, a presentation of street art movement by Pure Evil, and a performance by Suffolk Summer Theatre. The event will conclude on Saturday evening with Jazz Goes to the Movies – Digby Fairweather and his Half Dozen with Val Wiseman at St Edmunds Hall.

Ms Green said: 'It is the first arts festival we have ever held and we would like it to become an annual event.

'We hope it is going to continue to bring people in to the town all week.'

For the full line up of events visit www.southwoldartsfestival.co.uk

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