Festival set to impress!

Madness tribute band, Badness coming to Knaresborough's feva festival. (s)
Madness tribute band, Badness coming to Knaresborough's feva festival. (s)

feva 2011 looks set to be Knaresborough’s biggest and best arts festival yet!

With 80 events on the main programme the town will be pulsating for ten days in August. And there’s something for everyone, whether you’re a fan of visual arts, music, spoken word, drama, dance, street entertainment, or want to get involved in a host of activities ranging from Celtic calligraphy to Salsa dancing to African drumming.

Big names include bestselling novelist Joanne Harris, Martin Wainwright, the Guardian’s Northern Editor, the New Rope String Band who combine superb musicianship with comic genius, virtuoso saxophonist Snake Davis along with the Burden of Paradise, and Badness, Britain’s No. 1 Madness tribute band.

Drama and poetry combine in Reminiscences of Childhood, a delightful exploration of the work of Dylan Thomas. Prepare to be terrified when theatre company Penny Plain enact the legend of the Bargeest, the horrific beast that inspired The Hound of the Baskervilles.

The History Wardrobe present Fifty Years of Fashion, a journey through clothes and culture from 1940 to 1990, from the New Look to the New Romantics.

Knaresborough Pro Musica explore Bach’s influence on the Argentinian composer Piazolla in their ground-breaking concert Bach to Tango, while four rocking bands will take the stage for Picnic in the Park, feva’s fantastic open-air concert in the grounds of Knaresborough House.

A record-breaking number of exhibitions make up the feva Art Trail, which features many local artists and makers. New shows include beautiful abstract landscapes from Lori Rebequ, Mike McDonald’s portraits of Knaresborough people and The Auschwitz Project by Di Lofthouse MBE.

There is also a rare chance to see a framed print of J.M.W.Turner’s painting of Knaresborough. A talk about the image will be given by art historian Wendy Sanderson.

There will be free street entertainment in the Market Place every day, with plenty of fun, magic and laughter, as well as high-energy street dance from Freedom Performing Arts and Morris dancing with a twist. The Fire Man Dave makes his daytime debut at feva having wowed the crowds at last year’s spectacular festival finale.

Knaresborough’s restaurants are set to join in the festivities too. Regular favourites include Carriages, Lavender Rooms, Spice Merchant and Zolsha. You can also enjoy The Italian Job at Bella Sicilia, while Storm Restaurant hosts a Pyjama Party and three-course dinner in the lovely setting of the Dower House.

feva 2011 kicks off officially at 12 noon on August 12 with children’s entertainer Bob’s Your Uncle. feva programmes will be available from Monday, July 4.

If you are interested in volunteering to help with feva, you’re invited to a Coffee Morning at Knaresborough Library on Saturday, July 16 anytime between 10am and noon. Members of the feva committee will provide free drinks and refreshments, explain how feva works and answer any questions.