Strike up the band

ORGANISERS of the Alnwick International Music Festival are looking forward to an ‘excellent’ event this year.

The final line-up for the eight-day showcase has been announced and seven global groups are set to appear in the town.

Festival chiefs have confirmed that top-class acts from Estonia, France, India, Poland, Romania, Russia and Togo are in line to perform at the popular festival, which takes place from Saturday, July 30 to Saturday, August 6.

They will be joined by an array of talent from closer to home, with artists from Northumberland, the North East and Scotland.

Festival chairman Alan Symmonds, said: “We are delighted that we are being supported by so many international groups.

“They all have very high reputations for performing excellence and we are sure they will be very, very good supporters of the festival.

“They will be complemented by the excellent local groups that will be appearing.”

An exciting fusion of colour, culture, costume, music and dance from around the world will engulf the town during the festival, from Togo’s ‘Atopani’ Dance and Folklore Group, who boast a spectacle based on voodoo rites, dance, MIME and theatre containing sorcery and fright, to the Shilpagya India Dance and Folk Song Ensemble, which is based on folk dance and classical dances of various parts of India.

And the international flavour won’t stop there.

Orkiestra Dęta Miasta and Moraczewo, from Poland, Romania’s ‘Somesul-Napoca’ Folklore Group, The ‘Family Tradition’ Ensemble, from Russia, Estonia’s Flora Choir and Taara Folk Dance Group and French group Bleuniadur Folk Arts Ensemble are also set to appear in the town.

Acts closer to home include Simply Northumbrian, Triad, The Bushbys and the Clocktower Cloggies, among others.

Mr Symmonds, who is also mayor of Alnwick, said: “We are looking forward for this to be an excellent festival and we are very excited about the festival. The only thing that can come between us is the weather, we need the sun to shine.”

He added that this year’s event has attracted a lot of local interest and support.

The main festival stage is again based in the Market Place.

Other highlights in the event’s calendar include evening performances in the Alnwick Playhouse and a children’s festival in the Town Hall.