Festival Committee

Ely Arts Festival is managed by a voluntary committee with a wealth of experience in developing cultural events and activities in Ely and beyond. 

Chris Parsons
Chair & Artistic Director

Chris is a community musician, trumpeter and teacher. He conducts a number of groups, works professionally as a baroque trumpeter and is Director of Music (Performance) at King's Ely Prep School. 

Martyn Newton

Martyn is a retired finance officer and businessman with a keen interest in all aspects of the arts.

Louise Beale

Louise is a community and socially engaged artist, ceramicists, freelance artist and Art/DT teacher.

Sallyann Ford

Sallyann is an experienced concerts and event manager and is the former Sub-Sacrist of Ely Cathedral. 

Nick Neal

Nick was the Assistant Manager of the King's Lynn Arts Centre for ten years, overseeing all aspects of their cultural output including art exhibitions, theatre performances and large scale festivals.

Brian Watson

Brian is a writer, actor, director, singer and broadcaster whose career began as co-founder of Chelmsford Arts Laboratory and has encompassed many local roles in the Cambridgeshire art scene.

Gail Newton

Gail is a retired teacher who for many years organised the local School’s Music Festival. She has also been Musical Director of several local choirs and theatre groups. 

Laura Pearson-Clarke

Laura is a mixed media artist and art tutor, a Cambridge Open Studios member and exhibits her work in various local galleries and venues.

Cliff Ward

Cliff Ward is a local guitar teacher and musician. He has taught at many of the local schools over the years and has his own teaching studio in Haddenham. Cliff also plays in the folk band The Willows who have toured extensively in the UK and beyond including performances at Ely Folk Festival, Glastonbury Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival and the Bob Harris Show on Radio 2.