Brilliant sunshine got the Festival of Chichester off to the best possible start on the Cathedral Green on Saturday afternoon.
Chichester Music Academy were invited by the Festival of Chichester committee to provide the launch-afternoon entertainment – and they responded with an array of superb young talents.
Nick Davidson, who runs the Academy, put together a packed programme of his rising stars who charmed the crowds under fine blue skies.
The new mayor of Chichester Councillor Peter Budge found time in his busy schedule to declare the third Festival of Chichester well and truly open in the summer sun – a stark contrast to last year’s launch day on which the heavens opened with repeated heavy downpours.
Festival chairman Phil Hewitt said: “Nick did us proud. He does fantastic work with his young performers and helped us out magnificently last year under very different, very trying circumstances. It made complete sense to hand the whole afternoon over to him, and he came up trumps.
“We owe Nick huge thanks and thanks also to Rox Music and Arts for providing the sound equipment. Thanks also to Chichester College who also provided support and performers.”
Saturdays’s launch signalled the start of more than 200 events
Festival co-ordinator Barry Smith said: “We have a fantastic line-up of exciting events on offer. I’m particularly delighted with the star quality of this year’s festival. Just reeling off some of the names gives a picture of the delights in store.
“We’re proud to feature folk singer and ace guitarist Martin Simpson, one of the country’s most distinguished poets Jo Shapcott, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter and novelist William Nicholson (Shadowlands, Gladiator), the MOBO award-winning jazz pianist, Chichester’s own Zoe Rahman and flying in from Russia, the brilliant pianist Victor Ryabchikov.
“Alongside the stars we have the cream of local talent. There will be inspirational art exhibitions at the Pallant and Oxmarket galleries and in studios all over the city.”
The festival runs until July 12..
Tickets: www.chichestertickets.co.uk. 01243 813595; or Cloisters Shop, Cathedral Cloisters.
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