The first events in this year’s Lichfield Festival have been revealed, and include a wealth and diversity of music, theatre, family events and street parades, all taking place between July 5 and 13.
A full rundown – including the announcement of a headline act – is yet to come but, to whet the appetite, this high-profile Staffordshire festival has already announced several major events.
Cathedral highlights include the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, a bespoke Festival concert celebrating Ivor Novello hosted by Russell Grant, choral music from Voces8 and Kathryn Tickell’s new folk supergroup The Darkening. There’s also an invitation for all to ‘Come and Sing’ one of the greatest and most popular of all choral works, Handel’s Messiah. Black Voices return, this time championing Nina Simone; and MOBO award-nominee Cleveland Watkiss presents a special Nat King Cole evening celebrating the jazz legend’s centenary year.
Elsewhere, there are return visits from theatre company The Malachites and Ballet Cymru; and first encounters with the thrilling West African drummers and musicians Kakatsitsi and musical explorers Kabantu. BBC Young Musician 2018 Lauren Zhang (piano) is just one of the fabulous talents in the Young Artists series and comedy includes stand-up from Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Olga Koch.
The Festival Market takes its traditional place on the opening Saturday (July 6), followed this year by a Space Parade of giant puppet structures through the city’s streets. The Festival gives a nod to Brexit with a ‘Farewell to Europe’ theme, and also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
Events will be taking place across and beyond the city including some new venues this year, notably Lichfield’s newly-renovated St Mary’s Church and the picturesque village of Abbots Bromley.
The full Lichfield Festival programme will be announced in late March. For further details visit www.lichfieldfestival.org.