Events, Festivals and Exhibitions

Bury St Edmunds Festival 2020, Suffolk

14 May 2020 - 24 May 2020

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Unfortunately the 2021 Bury St Edmunds Festival was cancelled. The 2022 Festival should go ahead in 2022.

Spread over 11 days, in 12 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 2020 Programme

Aurora Orchestra Credit Nick Rutter_NR 17-09-24 384
Aurora Orchestra, © Nick Rutter

On 14 May the Aurora Orchestra will play Beethoven’s Eroica. Over the following days there will be a Words Weekend from (15 – 17 May) with writers and actors including Jenni Murray, Robert Webb, Katie Piper and Alastair Campbell discussing topics, such as mental health and gender roles.

19 May will see trombone quartet Bones Apart (see cover photo), and jazz singer Stacey Kent perform.

The following day, St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra will perform in St Edmundsbury Cathedral by St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra. While Dead Ringers Live with Lewis MacLeod, Jon Culshaw, Duncan Wisbey and Jan Ravens, will entertain at The Apex.

Dead Ringers Live Group at table (c) Andy Cotterill
Dead Ringers Live Group © Andy Cotterill

Friday’s offering will feature a double bill of Malian music from Amadou and Mariam, joined by the Blind Boys of Alabama, performing gospel music. There will also be a piano recital from Sarah Nicolls at the Athenaeum.

On 23 May at The Apex, Teddy Thompson will perform from his latest album Heartbreaker. While Tony Christie will round off the Festival performing with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra on Sunday, 24 May.

Bury St Edmunds Anniversary Celebrations

This year also marks the 1000th anniversary of the Abbey of St Edmund. The Festival will perform a series of concerts at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, including by The Sixteen on 18 May. There will also be a late night organ recital and festival Eucharist at the cathedral.

The Apex is also celebrating its 10th birthday this year. The venue will host 23 events across the Festival, as well as exhibiting A Year in the Life, which depicts photographs of the venue taken by photographer Geoff Price.

When is the Bury St Edmunds Festival 2020?

The festival is from 14 to 24 May, 2020. A full list of the performers can be found here.

Tickets for the Bury St Edmunds Festival 2020

Advance tickets for Festival Friends can be purchased on 21 February and to the public the following Monday. Call the box office on 01284 758 000.

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 fill in the form below.

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Further information on the St Edmunds Festival 2020

For further details, visit:


14 May 2020
24 May 2020


Bury St Edmunds
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Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

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