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Bury St Edmunds Festival 2019, Suffolk

May 16, 2019 - May 26, 2019

Bury St Edmunds Festival

Nigel Kennedy, Rick Wakeman and The Puppini Sisters headline the Bury St Edmunds Festival which will take place for the 34th time from 16 to 26 May, 2019.

Spread over 11 days, in 13 different venues and with 50 different events across the pleasant Suffolk town, the locations for the scheduled activities range from the very modern and flexible Apex to the 800-year-old Guild Hall, the Theatre Royal – the last working Regency Playhouse in Britain – and The Abbey Gardens, an English Heritage site with its monastic ruins.

Diversity is the name of this popular and entertaining festival with something for everyone. Music, song, dance, comedy, exhibitions and other art forms are there for all age groups and tastes. International, national and local artists take part as the intention that local people have ownership of the festival.

Bury St Edmunds Festival 2019 Programme

Bury St Edmunds Festival
Legendary Yes man Rick Wakeman will be performing at the Bury St Edmunds Festival

To start off the Bury St. Edmund’s Festival 2019, Rick Wakeman, the famed Yes keyboard player, will perform on 16 May in The Apex at 7.30. He will be playing part of his Piano Odyssey from his recent UK tour, which includes arrangements of David Bowie’s Life on Mars, Cat Stevens Morning is Broken, The Beatles Eleanor Rigby and excerpts from Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky.

On Sunday 19 May at 4pm also in the Apex, the Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra will play Mahler’s Fourth Symphony and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No 1. Highly talented Chinese pianist Ka Ma will perform.

One of the highlights of the festival is the return of the Nigel Kennedy. He is flying in from Poland for one night to perform at The Apex on Wednesday, 22 May. He will perform Bach’s Fugue, Sonata No. 1 in C Minor and selections from his new album The Magician of Dublin in which Kennedy meets meets Gershwin. Tickets range from £38 to £68.

Bury St Edmunds Festival
Possibly the highlight of the Bury St Edmunds Festival will be the appearance of Nigel Kennedy

Other music of note includes the highly original The Puppini Sisters (see cover photo) who will entertain with their retro looks and their swing-style workings of modern pop on 17 May, and BBC 2 Radio Presenter Clare Teal with her Mini Big Band along with renowned trumpeter and composer Guy Barker and pianist Jason Rebello (19 May). Legendary Leyton pianist John Lill will be performing at the Apex on 23 May. Folk lovers will not be disappointed as they can have a great evening on 25 May with Kate Rusby, famed throughout British National Folk Festivals as the ‘Barnsley Nightingale’.

The musical finale at the festival will be performed at The Apex by Chineke, Europe’s first orchestra made up of mainly black and minority ethnic musicians. Founded by double bass player Chi-Chi Nwanoku, OBE, they perform both nationally and internationally and aim to champion diversity in musical performance.

If classical ballet is more to your taste, there will be a performance of Swan Lake for two nights on 21 and 22 May in the stunning Grade 1 listed Theatre Royal. Ballet Theatre UK Artistic Director, Christopher Moore has put together some creative new choreography with amazing sets and 120 new costumes.

Bury St Edmunds Festival
Folk music star Kate Rusby will be performing on 25 May

Not Just a Song and Dance

Poetry and comedy is well represented. On 21 May, Dr John Cooper Clark will be presenting his new poetry book The Luckiest Man Alive, and on 23 May comedian and actress Janice Connolly will perform her well received Edinburgh Festival show of Barbara Nice at the Theatre Royal.

During the first weekend of the festival cinema lovers are catered for at the Abbeygate Theatre when there will be a screening of a selection of Oscar Wilde plays recorded at London’s Vaudeville Theatre by the Classic Spring Theatre Company.

No festival is complete without involving the children, so on 19 May at the Theatre Royal a new musical written by best-selling children’s author Timothy Knapman Growl-The True Story of the Big Bad Wolf will be performed by the National Youth Music Theatre.

Bury St Edmunds Festival
Sara Dowling will sing Judy Garland on 17 May

Accommodation in Bury St Edmunds

There are a plethora of good hotels and B&Bs to stay in Bury St Edmunds, but if you are too late to book at one of these you could try the medieval village of Lavenham only 11 miles away which has excellent pubs and accommodation, including The Swan at Lavenham. If you wish to book a hotel, please use our Hotel Booking Portal.

When is the Bury St Edmunds Festival 2019

The festival is from 16 to 26 May, 2019. A full list of the performers can be found here.

Tickets for the Bury St Edmunds Festival 2019

You can book on line at Tickets and brochures are now available from the Apex and various venues around Bury St. Edmunds or you can call the Box Office on 01284 758000.



May 16, 2019
May 26, 2019
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