A RECORD number of artists are set to show off their skills at this year’s Alnmouth Arts Festival, thanks to a major venue being made available by the Duke of Northumberland.
Because of the festival’s growing popularity over the last eight years, recent events have been over-subscribed, meaning many artists end up on a waiting list should any extra space become available.
Organisers of the event, which takes place over the weekend of June 23 and 24, had launched an appeal in December through the Gazette – which is the official media partner – to find more space for exhibitions.
They even suggested villagers could set up ‘guerrilla galleries’ in garages, garden sheds and their homes, which resulted in several more venues being offered.
But the Duke’s business wing, Northumberland Estates, has just confirmed that the festival can use the redundant Boys’ Club on Foxton Road for the whole weekend.
Colin Davidson, commercial property manager for the Estates, said: “We recognise the impact that events like the Alnmouth Arts Festival have in the county in the way they bring visitors to the area and raise Northumberland’s profile.
“We are therefore delighted to be able to contribute to this year’s festival and we wish it every success.”
In 2011, there were 66 individuals and groups and clubs, accounting for more than 100 exhibitors in total. It is estimated that more than 2,000 visitors came to Alnmouth over the weekend.
But so far this year, there have been applications accepted from 95 individuals and groups and clubs, accounting for more than 150 exhibitors in total – and three more can be accommodated.
Jill Bourne, from the festival organising committee, said: “We have had a waiting list of exhibitors wanting to come to the festival since the official closing date last November.
“Now, thanks to Northumberland Estates for allowing us to use the Boys’ Club, and the excellent response from villagers, we can accommodate all those on the waiting list and indeed accept a few more last-minute applications.”
People still wishing to exhibit should visit the website: www.alnmouthartsfestival.com and complete an application form.
Note, however, the closing date is April 5, 2012.
Further details about venues and guest artists can also be found on the website.