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Swaledale Festival begins with music and arts taking centre stage

[Friday 26 May 2006]

MUSIC and the arts take centre stage across the Northern Yorkshire Dales from today as the annual Swaledale Festival gets underway.

Swaledale Festival
Swaledale Festival; a celebration of music and arts
Photo: Swaledale Festival

The Reg Vardy Band will launch a fortnight of fun tonight when they entertain the crowd at St Andrew's Church in Grinton at 8.00pm. What follows is a celebration of classical, world, jazz and folk music by local, national, and international artists.

"Over the last five years, we've explored a series of specifically music driven themes - choral, string and brass music and last year music from around the world," said Festival Director Philip Parr.

"Now we plan to pick up themes that are more wide-ranging in scope and which offer us the chance to explore and to build interesting collaborations with artists on longer term projects."

This year's festival is based around the theme 'The Artist in his Time, Place and Environment', focusing on the Shostakovich String Quartets to celebrate the composer's centenary.

We plan to pick up themes that are more wide-ranging in scope and which offer us the chance to explore and to build interesting collaborations with artists on longer term
projects

Philip Parr - Festival Director

Another highlight in the line-up is the very political music of American singer Dave Rovics on June 3rd. Accompanied on stage by Allie Rosenblatt, his songs - performed to an acoustic guitar backing - are described as an "intelligent, angry and incisive" take on the politics of his homeland.

Aside from the music, the festival focuses on the heritage of the Yorkshire Dales with walks along the River Ure, a sheep shearing demonstration and many exhibitions of local arts and crafts in venues such as village pubs, the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes and Richmond Castle.

For more information on the plethora of events at the Swaledale Festival, call the festival line on 01748 880018, or log on to www.swaledale-festival.org.uk

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