A month-long celebration of music, art and culture got under way in the Moorlands last week as the first main event in the 2022 Leek Arts Festival attracted a capacity audience to the town’s Foxlowe Arts Centre. A crowd of more than 150 people flocked to the venue on Wednesday (May 4) for an evening of heart-pumping African beats from the Tri Nations Trio supported by the Leek U3A African drumming group.
A month-long celebration of music, art and culture got under way in the Moorlands last week as the first main event in the 2022 Leek Arts Festival attracted a capacity audience to the town’s Foxlowe Arts Centre.
A crowd of more than 150 people flocked to the venue on Wednesday (May 4) for an evening of heart-pumping African beats from the Tri Nations Trio supported by the Leek U3A African drumming group.
The free concert proved an exciting launchpad for this year’s festival which has returned after missing the past two years because of the Covid-19 crisis.
Leek Arts Festival chairman Phil Edmeades said the event had exceeded all expectations. He said: “Even though this was a free event we weren’t sure just how many people would come along, particularly as there still seems to be some reluctance for people to gather indoors in large groups due to fears over Covid.
“As it turns out we needn’t have worried. Initially we only put about 70 chairs out in the main room at the Foxlowe, but they were filled within minutes and we ended up with more than 150 in the audience.
“It was a fabulous evening and one that was hugely enjoyed by everyone who came along.”
The weekend also saw the very talented Rondino String Quartet perform an afternoon concert in the beer garden at the Wilkes Head in St Edward Street on Sunday (May 8).
Leek Arts Festival events in the coming week include comedian Kristin Hersh at The Foxlowe on Tuesday, May 10; a floral art demonstration at Trinity Church, Leek, on May 11; and an evening of poetry and music at the Foxlowe on Thursday, May 12 featuring Arran 2019 poetry prize finalists Pamela Brough, James Caruth and Jane Kinton with music from guitarist Tim Pomeroy and violinist John Pursaill. The Out Of Arran poetry event will start at 7.30pm and tickets £7 will be available on the door.
Top Scottish songstress Eddi Reader will be at The Foxlowe on May 13 and if you don’t fancy that gig, then try the Silk Mill in Market Street, Leek, on the same Friday evening where blues stars Sister Suzie and The Right Band will be on stage.
This Saturday (May 14) sees another free event in the Leek Arts Festival calendar as the LAF Folk Day goes ahead at the Foxlowe. There will be story-telling sessions for children from midday until 1pm, followed by music from local artists and guest star Pete Morton. The free folk day will be followed by an evening ceilidh with tickets costing just £6 on the door.
As if that wasn’t enough to keep you busy on Saturday, you can also enjoy free ska music with Alcohol Licks and The Skalinskis at The Cock Inn from 3pm; and Roots To Nowhere and Herbie Jack at The Roebuck from 7.30pm.
Full details of the Leek Arts Festival 2022 programme are available at www.leekartsfestival.co.uk where tickets for many events can also be purchased.
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