Festival will celebrate birthday online

Alison Croose launches the Kings Lynn Festival 2020 Picture: Sonya Duncan

Alison Croose launches the Kings Lynn Festival 2020 Picture: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

King’s Lynn Festival is pressing ahead with its 70th birthday celebrations - despite having to cancel the event.

Top names including the National Youth Orchestra, Brighouse and Rastrick Band and National Philharmonic Orchestra were set to take to the stage during a fortnight’s arts extravaganza.

But coronavirus forced the cancellation of the festival for the first time in its history.

An online celebration will get under way at 7.30pm on Sunday, July 19, when the festival was due to begin.

Musicians and personalities well-known to Lynn Festival audiences will send messages and provide music to mark the occasion. A very special guest will also be part of the virtual event on the festival website www.kingslynnfestival.org.uk.

Among the musicians who have delighted audiences with their performances are Tasmin Little who will play her violin at home and clarinettist Emma Johnson, who will play in her garden.

Musicians from the European Union Chamber Orchestra, who should have opened the festival on Sunday, and members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra who would have performed the final concert of the 2020 festival, will also contribute to the celebration.

There will also be special messages from singer Clare Teal, pianist Freddy Kempf, art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon, guitarist John Williams and other festival favourites.

Most Read

Festival chairman Alison Croose said: “We were determined to mark this special day and are delighted that so many of the big names who have impressed festival audiences over the years wanted to join in our celebration and we look forward to welcoming them back to Lynn in the not-too-distant future.

“We have been pleased to work with Jason Fuller on this project and are sure our supporters will be similarly impressed with the online event which will remain on the website.”

The festival board is hoping to stage smaller-scale concerts with socially-distanced audiences in the autumn, subject to restrictions in force at the time. Now that galleries can re-open, plans also include staging the 70th Festival exhibition.