Out & About… Ashwell Music Festival

Ashwell Music Festival

The beautiful, historic village of Ashwell is set to host its 2019 Music Festival with an eclectic programme boasting internationally renowned musicians and artists.
Running across two weekends – from 10th-19th May – the Hertfordshire village provides a stunning setting, with more than just music to explore. Ashwell Music Festival is now in its 66th year, having begun in 1953 by Canon Jack Catterick and mainly takes place in The Church of St Mary’s, a Grade One listed building from the 14th and 15th centuries well known for its striking spire and medieval graffiti. The Festival raises money to develop the Festival and support the Church’s restoration fund. Festival highlights this year include brass, jazz, classic euro pop and contributions from the village’s own talented musicians and singers.

The festival launches on Friday 10th May with the Goldfield Ensemble weaving tales of Fens folklore with music and myth, entertaining young and grown up story fans alike at Ashwell School from 6pm. Internationally renowned Foden’s Band, acclaimed as one of the best in the world, and winners of the Brass Band Championships of Great Britain 12 times over, are the stars of Saturday 11th May, playing in St Mary’s at 7pm.

On Thursday 16th May at 7pm, the young musicians and singers of two local schools, Ashwell JMI and The Knights Templar come together with St Mary’s Junior Choir to present a free concert at St Mary’s Church at 7pm. On Friday 17th May, from 7pm, Basin Street Brawlers take the stage at St Mary’s. The UK’s own ‘world class’ (BBC) early jazz ensemble are famous for playing the most beautiful melodies and raucous rags of the 1920s and 1930s. The group are acclaimed as ‘London’s top hot jazz ensemble’, according to visitlondon.com, making regular appearances at famous clubs and concert halls nationwide, including the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room and Oxford’s Holywell Music Room.
Then on Saturday 18th May at 7pm, Ashwell meets its Waterloo as Planet Abba deliver their fabulous, choreographed stage show, with many costume changes, faithfully encapsulates the sights and sounds of Abba and their endless stream of unforgettable hits.

The Festival closes with a traditional choral Evensong performed by St Mary’s Church Choir, on Sunday 19th May at 6pm.

Said Festival Chair, John Rowlands ‘We’re thrilled with the talent we’re bringing to the village this year as well as the support we’ve had from sponsors and people who give their time to make this event such as success. We can’t wait for the magic to start.”

Did you know?
This church is so steeped in history it has medieval graffiti, describing the horror of being a survivor in the Black Death bubonic plague pandemic of the 14th century. www.stmarysashwell.org.uk/church

For full booking information and to buy tickets go to the Ashwell Music Festival website at