A Festival of music & the Arts
Each year, the st ives September Festival celebrates the town's artistic heritage with a festival of Music and the Arts. The festival always runs through the middle two weeks of September with a huge variety of musical performances: jazz, blues, folk sessions, classical concerts and arts events: gallery exhibitions 'open days' when local artists open their studios to the public, talks, lectures, poetry readings and workshops.
The first September Festival was held in 1978 and continued until 1986 when it became a victim of the recession. It was resurrected in 1994 by two of its original founders: the painter, poet and librettist Bob Devereux and Martin Val Baker, son of the author Denys Val Baker. This time round it continued until 2001, when it ran into funding difficulties.
For some years, a growing 'fringe' festival, organised by the accomplished artist, writer and jazz/blues aficionado Colin T. Johnson, had been adding to the diversity and strength of the programme. When the main festival folded in 2001, Bob Devereux continued to run its literature section and with St Ives Fringe Festival continued these continued as 'the only festival in town' for the next three years. A fringe without a festival !
In 2005 Colin T. Johnson resigned as the Fringe Festival's Chairman to be replaced by Tracy Stanton. Under Tracy, the fringe committee decided to revive the main festival and that year presented 'St Ives September Festival 2005.' The recent festivals have combined the elements of both the original festivals and the fringe. Additionally, In 2006 Colin Johnson decided to resurrect a programme of 'fringe events' at the Lifeboat Inn, the original home of the Fringe Festival.
The Festival is run entirely by volunteers and funded by the local councils, local businesses and the people of St Ives and not only with money! Venues, catering, accommodation, literature, promotional material, publicity and a presence on the internet are also contributed. Today the festival continues to thrive, with townsfolk and visitors alike looking forward to the announcement of the new programme.
So what's on?
There is no quick way of summarising the enormous and diverse programme of events available over the Festival period, although you can assume most aspects of art and music will feature. Instead, why not check out the Festival's website www.stivesseptemberfestival.co.uk or subscribe to the Festival's mailing list by emailing email@example.com to ensure you keep up to date with forthcoming activities. And it is always worth having a look at our Events Calendar, not just for Festival details but for other things to do in the area.
We hope you enjoy whatever events you attend and thank you for your support.