Ely Arts Festival 2021’s finale weekend ends with a flourish

28th June 2021

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Credit: Photography by Andrew Wilkinson Photography.

Around 1000 people attended the final two days of Ely Arts Festival, which brought together locals and visitors at Jubilee Gardens for a weekend of fun, bringing the festival’s 2021 programme to a close.

The weekend began with the Jubilee Jamboree event including live music in the bandstand, with performances from local acts Paddy Bennett, Funksoul Brothers, John Holland Avery, Littleport Brass Band and East Cambs Wind Band. The music continued into Saturday afternoon with a Teddy Bears Tea Picnic Concert provided by Shake, Rattle and Roll for babies and toddlers.

Local artist Louise Beale provided craft activities for all ages, and exhibited the final result of her project with Babylon ARTS ‘Fen Stitch Together’, a quilt created from patches handmade and sent in by local residents.

Attendees were also treated to an amazing steampunk inspired artwork by artist Mike Hartley called 'The Yesterday & Tomorrow Machine'. It’s first visit to Ely, as part of the Somewhere in Ely project, where local people voted for the pop-up artworks they would like to see in Ely. Local artist Ted Coney also showcased his collection of paintings in his Artist in Residence tour at his studio based along the riverside and the Babylon Gallery welcomed visitors to its Edge of the Fens exhibition.

On Sunday there were two open-air theatre performances by Lamphouse Theatre, organised by Babylon ARTS. With just two actors, their production ‘Suitcase Shakespeare’ brought to life an entire Shakespeare play using only what was in their suitcases.

Ely Arts Festival Chair, Chris Parsons said “It was fantastic to see so many smiling faces down at Jubilee Gardens across the weekend for our Jubilee Jamboree and Suitcase Shakespeare performances! After such a challenging 15 months for us all we really wanted to bring some cheer to Ely and we hope everyone had a really enjoyable time.”

Chris continued “All this would not have been possible without the fantastic work of the voluntary committee and our collaboration with Babylon Arts. We're incredibly grateful for the local companies who have supported the festival 'Poets House, Silver Oak Coffee, Busy Bee Recruitment and Lovewell Blake. We're excited about what the future holds for the Ely Arts Festival as part of the exciting cultural offerings throughout the year in this great city!”

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Credit: Photography by Andrew Wilkinson Photography.

In order of images: East Cambs Wind Band (far left), Funksoul Brothers Band, Shake Rattle & Roll and John Holland Avery.