In 2000, the whole area in and around Sedbergh, including the schools, came together to put on the amazing Millennium Mystery Play Cycle, played in the old octagonal Auction mart – where Spar is now. Cast and technicians by literally the hundreds, all ages, all volunteers. Played for over three hours in its entirety over five nights, and an audience brought picnics, blankets and cushions. Those of us who put it on saw the hunger in the community for such culturally ambitious events. Deryck Cox thought what a fantastic idea it would be to have a Music Festival to follow, centred on St Andrew’s Church. It started small, there were some doubting voices of course, but through Deryck’s determination, the church’s goodwill, loyal helpers, the 2000 Music Festival came into being.

This year’s festival is a pot-pourri of internationally celebrated greats like the wild and wonderful Red Priest baroque group on June 5th, Tasmin Little and Martin Roscoe on June 7th, poker-faced cabaret style fun of A Fistful of Spookies on June 8th, a multi-media + music + dance narrating of ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’ by local medieval band Cornucopia on June 13th, and the exciting Celtic folk band Jamie Smith’s MABON on June 15th.

Between them, we showcase rising stars – Joe Davies [QEGS Penrith and Oxford] plays a Bach cello suite, Chetham Hospital Music School’s dauntingly virtuoso young players -both doing lunchtime recitals, as do Sedbergh School’s promising musicians. We have Cumbrian ensembles like the Kentdale Wind Quintet, Castalia String Quartet, the Levens Choir, alongside the lively home grown Sedbergh Town Band, and Sedbergh Orchestra. There are harpists, piano trios, an organ recital, and a quiet poetry reading.

On-site suppers (which need to be booked in advance) and lunches are available for selected events.  All tickets are available through the Sedbergh Tourist Information Centre,or can be booked online on our Music Festival web page.

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