MORE than 100 guests gathered for the official launch of the Bromsgrove Festival at Artrix on Saturday (June 14).
Following the opening speech by MP Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and drinks in a marquee, audiences at the gala were given a special glimpse of what is to come over the next five weeks, with the festival will now running until July 20.
Among those who took the stage, after being introduced by players from Madcap Theatre, were the Fairfield Folk band, the Orchestra of St John, Bromsgrove Operatic Society and Blackwell Concert Band.
During his opening speech Mr Javid highlighted the importance of the social and intrinsic value of the arts.
The minister also paid tribute to Mary White, the previous organiser of the festival and praised the new organising committee for broadening the appeal to wider audiences.
“I understand the value of culture and arts to not just the whole community but to our whole society.
“I’m not talking about the economic value, although that’s important, but the social and intrinsic of the arts – the way it brings communities together.
“As well as keeping all the best things from past festivals, they’ve added other dimensions to it such as jazz, pop, spoken word and art and really broadened its appeal.
“So this festival isn’t just for the people of Bromsgrove but a festival for everyone, in the region and beyond.” he added.
Graham Mackenzie, chair of the Bromsgrove Festival Committee, said: “We’re delighted the festival launch was such a resounding success and would like to give our thanks to the minister for opening the Festival, to all the performers and guests and to Artrix for hosting the event.
“There’s something for everyone to enjoy at this year’s festival and we hope as many people as possible will do just that in the next five weeks.”
Visit www.bromsgrovefestival.co.uk for more.
Orchestra of St John performing on the stage. (s)
Bromsgrove Operatic Society give it their all. (s)
Blackwell Concert Band giving audiences a taste of what is to come. (s)