Thornbury Arts Festival returns

May 01 2022
Thornbury Arts Festival returns

THORNBURY Arts Festival will be back this summer after an enforced two-year break, with a mini-event aimed at paving the way for a full return next year.

The annual programme of music, comedy, drama and talks was cancelled in 2020 and last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, with closure of its traditional venue, the Armstrong Hall, adding to difficulties.

But organisers were determined the festival should return in some form this year and have devised a three-day festival of live performances from June 23 to 25 across three venues.

St Mary’s Church in Thornbury will host the opening night - a costumed portrayal by Lesley Smith of Anne Boleyn in the Tower of London in the final minutes of her life.

Lesley is the curator of Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire, as well as a medical historian. She has appeared in more than 120 TV programmes and is known for her performances of historical characters.

St Mary’s stands next to Thornbury Castle, where Anne Boleyn stayed with Henry VIII in 1535 after becoming his second wife.

Making a return to the festival on day two will be Stringfever - four musicians from the same family who mix classical favourites with rock classics. A hit with the festival audience in 2017, this year they will perform at the Castle School.

Bringing the festival to a close will be the Cate Cody Quintet, who had been set to perform at the 2020 event before lockdown forced its cancellation.

Jazz singer Cate has appeared at the BAFTA Television Awards and at the Emirates Stadium, as well as performing at sell-out concerts at jazz festivals and dance events.

Her musicians have worked with the likes of Acker Bilk, George Melly, Georgie Fame, Kenny Ball, Imelda May and Clare Teal.

Cate specialises in the Great American Songbook from the 1920s to 1940s and will perform a selection of favourites when she appears at Tytherington Village Hall.

The festival's guided walk will take place in September.

Thornbury Arts Festival normally runs across nine days each spring and the team behind the event hope to get back to normal next year.

The festival committee said: “We’re really pleased to have been able to put together this programme, albeit a shortened form of the festival, and look forward to welcoming audiences once again.”

For more details regarding events, times and tickets visit the festival website at, email or call 07591 030785.