Bigger audiences enjoyed the Tavistock Festival 2023 in this special Coronation Year

Almost 1,000 people attended 18 events at this year’s festival, a significant increase over last year.

‘This probably reflects the fact that audiences are feeling slightly more safe after the challenges of the Covid years,’ said Dr Sean Sweeney, chairman of Tavistock Festival

‘All our performance venues have been most welcoming and the generosity of our sponsors enabled us to offer an increasing number of free events.’ he said.

‘The Children’s Singing Workshop at Tavistock Methodist Church attracted five local primary schools and one hundred and thirty young people for a feast of music making and the Mad Tea Party, kindly hosted by the Bedford Hotel sold out well in advance of the date. What fun we had.’

Several choirs participated this year, including the Mount Kelly Choral Society, a female barbershop quartet, Calstock’s Big Jazz Choir, Mount Kelly Chamber Choir and the Wheelhouse Folk Choir. The charity concert in the parish church by the Tapestry Choir and the Calstock Singers raised over £400 for ShelterBox.

Concert pianist Nina Savivevic made a welcome return to enthral the large and appreciative audience with music by Liszt and Schubert and Tavistock Library hosted a number of informative sessions, incuding a talk by author Amanda Craig, Coronation Crafts and a Writing Workshop led by Vanni Cook.

‘The festival ended with a most enjoyable Coronation Concert, attended by an audience of over 100 enthusiastic and flag-waving attendees,’ added Dr Sweeney. ‘Well known soprano Rosemary Turner provided beautiful songs suited to the occasion together with trumpeter Peter Hurdwell and keyboard players Mary Mazur-Park and myself.

‘David Turner, our town crier started proceedings in the traditional manner and audience participation in Jerusalem and Rule Britannia was impressive, Helena Ancil, producer of the Mad Tea Party, gave two readings.

‘All in all the festival has been a great success and plans are already underway for next year. We are very grateful to all those who have supported us.’