Music festival line-up takes shape

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PREPARATIONS for the Alnwick International Music Festival are going ‘very well’, its chairman has said, with 10 overseas groups lined up for this year’s event.

The popular eight-day showcase returns to the town this summer and performers from Estonia, Romania, France, Russia, India, Croatia, Italy, Togo, Poland and Turkey have been invited to attend.

And currently, it looks like all of them will make an appearance at the 2011 extravaganza, which takes place from July 30 to August 6.

Chairman John Moodie said: “Preparations are going very well. We have invited 10 (overseas) groups and at the moment it would appear that they are all coming.

“We are very pleased. It is a good balance and hopefully we can put on a good show and it will be well supported.”

In 2010 and 2009, the show was rocked by a handful of global groups dropping out at the last minute, leaving a depleted schedule and a small contingent of performers from abroad.

But Mr Moodie has said that lessons have been learned and precautions have been taken to ensure that this does not happen again.

He said: “After what happened last year and the year before, we put in some safeguards.

“We have said to the groups that they had to apply for a visa early, which they are all doing now.

“We have invited more groups this year. We have at present 10 groups and this number was agreed to allow for cancellations.

“By having 10, if two or three drop out, we are still left with seven or eight, which is quite adequate.”

But for all the interest from abroad, the festival will still boast an array of home-grown talent and Mr Moodie is keen to ask the local groups, which came to the event’s aid last year, to return this time round.

“We are looking at some of the local people as well. They helped us last year.

“We have got the names of the people we had last year and we will be contacting them,” he said.

If any other local groups are interested in performing at this year’s festival, or for more information about the event, visit www.alnwickmusicfestival.com and follow the relevant links.