New chairman to head up much-loved annual festival

The Gelmelzwaaiers perform at the 2015 festival. 'Picture by Jane Coltman
The Gelmelzwaaiers perform at the 2015 festival. 'Picture by Jane Coltman

Alnwick International Music Festival has appointed a new chairman and plans for this year’s spectacle are taking shape.

Jonathan Justice has taken on the role, replacing Alan Symmonds, and the 44-year-old is relishing the challenge of heading up the popular event.

The 2017 extravaganza takes place from Saturday, July 29, to Saturday, August 5.

Discussions are taking place with a number of groups, including performers from China, Mauritius and India, as well as local artists.

Mr Justice, who is from Alnwick and has helped with the festival for a number of years, said: “I am delighted to take on the role as chairman and I would like to thank Alan Symmonds for the marvellous job that he has done. I know how much the audience loves seeing the foreign groups and we will look to expand that.”

Mr Justice said the festival is keen to recruit volunteers.

Reflecting on his time as chairman, Mr Symmonds said: “I have a lot of happy memories and I had a good cohesive team which worked hard to put on a good festival for Alnwick.

“I think future festivals under Jonathan’s chairmanship will continue to be a spectacle and a celebration of international and local talent.”

To help raise festival funds, a jazz and blues night is being held at Alnwick Working Men’s Club on Friday, April 28, starting at 8pm. For tickets and details, visit the website