Beverley’s newest arts and music festival has secured backing from the Arts Council of Great Britain and the East Riding of Yorkshire Council and now looks on track to becoming a permanent feature on the town’s calendar.
Stage4Beverley, based at the East Riding Theatre, launches across the weekend of 17th to 19th February next year and will be one of the first major City of Culture events held in the East Riding in 2017.
Described as “a winter celebration of the music and the arts” Stage4Beverley will showcase music ranging from folk to classical, jazz to Americana and world music to blues.
Former Beverley Folk Festival artistic director Chris Wade, one of four friends behind the new venture, said they’d been heartened by the positive response both locally and nationally since news of the festival was first announced.
“It’s been a dream of ours to create a festival like this in Beverley and we’ve been bowled over by the goodwill there is for it,” Ms Wade said. “With grants from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the Arts Council of England, it has certainly received the thumbs up from the cultural sector. Local and national businesses have also offered their support, with P & O Ferries helping with transport of international artists from Europe and Hull-based accountants cba Sadofskys offering financial support.
“Such backing has helped the festival in its first year to bring some of the leading artists of their genres to Beverley to perform.”
Across the weekend there will be a total of six major concerts in the main auditorium of the East Riding Theatre plus events and workshops in the theatre’s clubroom and Cafe Bar, including a late night Festival Club each evening.
Artists booked include Scotland’s finest singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean, performance poet and comedian John Hegley, gypsy jazz sensations the Tcha Limberger Trio with Mozes Rosenberg, two-time BBC Folk Awards winners Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, the New York Brass Band and an appearance by Coope, Boyes and Simpson, on their farewell tour.
“As well as the top names, the festival is also demonstrating its desire to encourage and promote young artists in the various musical styles. Each concert will feature one or more young acts and even some workshops will be led by, or aimed at, that age group who wish to perform or try their hand at the more technical side of staging performances,” said Ms Wade.
One highlight is sure to be a unique sight and sound presentation in the theatre’s cafe bar on Sunday February 19 that takes an affectionate look at one of Hull’s most famous restaurants, Powolny’s, that was destroyed in the Blitz of the Second World War.
Reaching its zenith between the two wars, the restaurant, known affectionately as Polly’s, became the byword for style and excellence under its Greek proprietor, Petro Louis Dermond. Polly’s destruction deprived Hull of one of its major cultural and social attractions, giving birth to its legend as “the place to be”.
Polly’s colourful story and that of its equally colourful personalities is chronicled by Petro’s grandson, Robin, who rekindles the sense of joy and affectionate awe it inspired. The event will include a “dainty tea” evoking the spirit of Powolny’s.
Admission to all Stage4Beverley events will be by individual ticket which have gone on sale via the East Riding Theatre website. “Tickets are selling well and we’re looking forward to a hugely successful festival that will allow us to expand our horizons in 2018 and beyond,” said Ms Wade.
“The fact that our weekend celebration will attract more visitors to the town at a traditionally quieter time will, we hope, also benefit the local economy. This is a celebration over the winter half-term to brighten up the winter days and nights and we hope everyone will get behind it,” she said.
Stage 4 Beverley will be held at East Riding Theatre, Beverley, from February 17 – 19, 2017. Tickets are available from the ERT box office. For more information visit stage4Beverley.com or via Facebook/stage4Beverley or by calling 077300 52727 or 01377 217356.
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