Brackley aims to hit the high note

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Brackley’s popular Music Festival starts on Friday, 28 June with the rousing sound of Brackley and District Brass Band.

The event, which is now in its 18th year, will showcase the best local amateur artists and visiting professionals with at least one musical performance taking place every day for 16 days.

Until 13 July, ten venues across the town will host the artists, with performances ranging from folk songs to lively African vibes and solo singer-songwriters to the full power of Mendelssohn’s dramatic oratorio ‘Elijah’ performed by the Brackley Jubilee Choir with The Cherwell Orchestra.

Brackley Music Festival chairman and South Northamptonshire Councillor Blake Stimpson, who has helped to organise the event since its launch in 1995, said: “To be fast approaching Brackley’s 18th Music Festival is an astonishing achievement, as it has grown from a weekend event to a two-week festival all these years later.

“With so many musical genres on offer over such an extensive period, we are confident the festival will once again offer something for all and will provide enough opportunities to ensure everyone can come along and enjoy the experience.”

Free events for all the family take place during the first weekend, based in Market Square on Saturday and on Sunday at Folk in the Park. Indoor venues include Brackley Town Football Club, the town hall, local churches, schools and hotels, which will host events at various times of the day.

A wealth of local musicians will take part in the festival, including Kevin O’Regan, Peter Ball and groups such as Brackley Male Voice Choir and Wind Ensemble, C.A.F.E. musicians, folk musicians galore and bands providing support, including lots of young people. Music Mayhem offers everyone an opportunity to make music during the morning of Saturday 13 July, which will be an official Our Big Gig event at Southfield School, organised by the Brackley Music and Performing Arts Centre.  

Bringing something special to Brackley are guests The London Tango Quintet, Keith James singing Nick Drake, John Martyn and Leonard Cohen songs, Simply Bublé (a tribute to Michael Bublé), Lunatrix (back by popular demand), Sid Twynham and The Moon Dogs, award-winning folk fusion band The Roving Crows and Kasai Masai, who will close the festival at Waynflete Hall on July 13 at 8pm with the infectious dance rhythms and grooves of Africa.

Brackley Music Festival and Folk in The Park are organised by volunteers, supported by local businesses and grant aided by South Northamptonshire Council and Brackley Town Council. For more information on the festival, including a programme, ticket prices or details, visit www.brackleymusicfestival.co.uk or the Business Information Bureau in Courtyard Mews, tel. 01280 701162.