64th King's Lynn Festival a success
The 64th King’s Lynn Festival was declared an artistic and financial success after the final concert by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday.
Artistic director Ambrose Miller said: “It has been a consistently top level festival from start to finish with internationally-renowned artists alongside excellent young talent who are the stars of the future.
“Festival lectures have all been fascinating and we’ve also had some splendid lighter entertainment. It has been a festival to remember,” he said.
Some 5,500 people bought tickets for 25 events, more than a third of which were sell-outs, said Festival chairman Alison Croose.
“The programme’s diverse appeal has certainly attracted new audiences. We anticipate that our box office targets will be achieved so the festival breaks even.”
She said visitors had travelled from all over the country, and from abroad, specifically to attend the festival. “While organising a wide-ranging programme to interest people in West Norfolk we are also determined to play a key role in keeping this Festival Town on the map and continuing to draw visitors from far and wide to fill local hotels, restaurants and car parks during festival fortnight.”
One highlight had been the visit of the Festival President, the Duke of Kent, to the concert by the Navarra String Quartet.
The high calibre of participating artists had been underlined when the BBC appealed for soprano Louise Alder to be released from her Lynn Festival concert at the 11th hour to take a leading role at the BBC Proms, said Mrs Croose.
Festival activity had extended beyond the concert hall with four free Buy a Beer concerts attended by dozens of people.
Music was also taken to Churchill Park School in Lynn where conductor John Lubbock and three musicians from the Orchestra of St John’s played for nearly 100 youngsters with complex needs who were able to enjoy - and conduct - the music.
Mrs Croose said teachers were delighted that such a valuable experience was offered to students by festival musicians and it was an activity the festival hoped to repeat.
Local authority funding was critical to the festival’s survival, said Mrs Croose who thanked the borough and county councils plus the business and private sponsors who made possible a significant number of events. She also thanked the army of volunteers for their active support.
The 2015 Festival will be held on July 12-25.