BRIDGWATER NEWS: Quayside Festival is hailed a storming success by organisers
CIVIC chiefs and organisers have been delighted with the first-ever Bridgwater Quayside Festival and described it as a “storming success.”
Sedgemoor District Council, who conceived and co-ordinated funding for the inaugural event, worked with a professional agency and a number of community organisations to deliver an amazing menu of activities and entertainment.
District council chairman, Cllr Mike Cresswell, said: “We have been overwhelmed with the positive comments we have from all over the district and beyond following the festival.
“We have secured funding for three years so with the sound of happy festival goers ringing in our ears we will get started on planning an even bigger and better event next year. I would like to thank all those who had a hand in making it so successful.”
Among those who gave up their time to ensure everything went smoothly were the Town Team, the Bridgwater Town Council, the district council and Bridgwater Cultural Partnership.
The day was organised by Fuse Performance and partly funded by Community Impact Mitigation Fund from Hinkley Point C, the Arts Council and Viridor.
John Lee, of Fuse, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to the Councils, Funding Bodies and above all the public who helped us create a day to remember.
“There were events from ten in the morning to midnight and the town centre was alive with street theatre, music and performances.”
Spread across Blake Gardens, Blake Museum, Fore Street, the Library, the Arts Centre, King Square, Eastover, West Quay, Angel Place, the Engine Room and Unity House, the festival ranged from ancient skills such as archery to acoustic music and jazz.
Leader of Bridgwater Town Council, Cllr Brian Smedley, added: “We have been campaigning for a major summer event since the Big Bash organised by the Bridgwater Arts Centre hit Castle Street in 2015.
“It’s something the people have been asking for ever since. This is why the town council put money aside in this year’s budget to ensure that it happened and in particular to support the work of the Cultural Partnership – that’s our key partner organisations such as the Art Centre, the Engine Room, the Museum, Carnival, Sedgemoor FM, the college and so on, working together to put culture at the forefront of our towns revival.
“People I’ve spoken to so far think it worked well and especially increased footfall across the town giving traders a boost and brought a wide variety of things to do and see on a quiet summer Saturday.
“We’re especially thankful that the amended motion to town council that it shouldn’t rain that day was carried unanimously. “
Somerset-based artists Sarah Lovett, Cath Jenkins, Baiba Pepe and Sophie Courtier literally painted the town while Claude Sandiford and Shoot the Moon among others provided the sounds.
Other highlights included The Three Musketeers show for children in Bridgwater Arts Centre, an aerial show from Sunken Circus in Angel Place and Garsington Opera’s production of Handel’s Semele screened in King Square with a chorus of singers from across Somerset joining the Bridgwater Voices Community Choir.
There were food stalls, dance acts, games, crafts and a whole host of activities celebrating the town’s culture and its past, particularly its maritime connections.
To keep up to date with plans for Bridgwater Quayside Festival 2018 follow @BQuaysideFest on Facebook and Twitter or visit the website www.bridgwaterquaysidefestival.uk .
Bridgwater Press had photographers Jeff Searle and Brian Bateman out and about mingling with the crowds and judging by their photos everyone seemed to be having a great time.
More photos from the Bridgwater Quayside Festival can be found on these gallery links.
Quayside Festival Photo Gallery Part 1 - http://www.bridgwaterpress.co.uk/blog/2017/07/30/quayside-festival-part-1-july-29-2017/ .
Quayside Festival Photo Gallery Part 2 - http://www.bridgwaterpress.co.uk/blog/2017/07/30/quayside-festival-part-2-july-29-2017/ .
Quayside Festival Photo Gallery Part 3 - http://www.bridgwaterpress.co.uk/blog/2017/07/30/quayside-festival-part-3-july-29-2017/ .