Bath’s place in the arts dates back to the 18th century, when the old Orchard Street Theatre was built and local luminaries included Thomas Gainsborough and Jane Austen.
The city now boasts five theatres and a cultural calendar of events to be proud of.
We’ve put together a list of some of the finest festivals in our area – on right now and coming up in the next few months.
Our Reside 5 festival review covers sports, music and literature. Hopefully something for everyone. If you know of other Bath festivals coming up this year please share your suggestions with us via Facebook or Twitter.
1. The Iford Arts Music Festival
8th June – 10th August
(Photo courtesy of Iford Arts Festival)
A varied season of opera, jazz proms and classical cloister concerts are performed in the Grade 1 listed Harold Peto gardens of Iford Manor, six miles from Bath. Covered, seated cloister seats are available or you can listen while you picnic.
Coming up: Acis and Galatea by Handel, London Horns and Brazilian jazz from The Minas Project and the festival finale – Soothsayers and Brejeiro.
See www.ifordarts.org.uk for more info.
2. Bath Folk Festival
10th – 18th Aug
Bath’s third Folk Festival mixes internationally acclaimed acts and local talent with concerts throughout Bath. This grass roots festival, run by musicians and dancers, for musicians and dancers, is fast becoming a well respected fixture on the folk music scene.
Confirmed acts for this year include Lunasa, James Fagan and Nancy Kerr, Damien O’Kane Trio, and Karen Tweed with Kevin Dempsey and Carolyn Robson.
See http://bathfolkfestival.org/ for more info.
3. The Special Olympics GB National Summer Games
28th Aug – 1st Sept
Held every 4 years, this is the country’s largest sports event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. This year it comes to Bath where 1,700 athletes will compete in athletics, artistic gymnastics, football, badminton, golf, table tennis, tennis, swimming and more.
See http://www.bath2013.org.uk/ for more info.
4. Festival of Children’s Literature
Sept 27th – 6th Oct
This year’s festival lights up the city once more with stories, readings and workshops. Well loved characters and stories rub shoulders with newer arrivals waiting to be discovered.
Michael Rosen brings his stories and poems about everything from a farting fish to chocolate cake, while local resident Mandy Sutcliffe introduces the world of Belle & Boo. Older children can learn to write about ghosts and vampires at a horror writing workshop with Alexander Gordon Smith. Axel Scheffler, Jeremy Strong are also in attendance along with a dramatic adaptation of Lord of the Flies and much, much more.
See http://bathfestivals.org.uk/childrens-literature/ to find out more.
8th - 16th Nov
(Photo kindly supplied by Bath Mozartfest)
The 23rd Bath Mozartfest brings a programme of orchestral, chamber, quartet and choral works to fill some of our finest venues with glorious music.
The Assembly Rooms, Bath Abbey, the Guildhall, The Forum and St Mary’s Bathwick will feature performances by the Nash Ensemble, the Takács Quartet, The Halle Orchestra, Lawrence Power, Andras Schiff, Alfred Brendel, the Prague Symphony Orchestra and many more.
As well as music by Mozart, the programme includes the work of Dvořák, Janáček, Haydn, Ravel and Schubert and Beethoven.
See http://www.bathmozartfest.org.uk/ for more info.
With such a busy few months in prospect, we can’t possibly expect you to attend all of our top five festivals… But we would certainly like to see you give it a go! So whether you’ve been swooning to Schubert, spurring on the sports stars or studying Scheffler’s sketches, please do get in touch to tell us about it.