More than 300 music and arts events over 15 days extend the St Ives holiday season deep into September and the Mayor, Councillor Suzanne Tanner, hailed it’s success: “The St Ives September Festival is a very important part of events in St Ives.
“It creates a buzz of who’s on and what’s to see and do. It’s very exciting to have so many talented guests from poetry to film to bands in so many venues in and around our town.”
Councillor Tanner, who has been involved in past September Festivals, added: ” I love the Festival. I used to volunteer with the T-shirts so was privileged to meet so many fantastic guests.”
Chris Roberts, chairman of St Ives Chamber of Trade and Commerce, called the Festival, first held in 1978, “a fantastic long-running tradition for St Ives which has brought people to the area who might not have otherwise visited our great town.”
“It brings locals and visitors together to celebrate some of the creativity and cultural heritage of our town.”
He paid tribute the efforts of the volunteers who run the Festival, adding: “I wish all those taking part and working on the September Festival 2017 good luck and another enjoyable year.
St Ives BID (Business Improvement District) are promoting two million album-selling band Toploader at The Guildhall on Sunday, September 17, as their contribution to this year’s Festival.
Festival patrons Show of Hands, who have previously seen the “house full” signs go up at London’s Royal Albert Hall, sold out Sunday night’s Guildhall appearance 11 days in advance.
Steve Knightley, of Show of Hands, said: “We can’t wait to be back.
“For over 30 years St Ives Festival has been one of the must-play events for those of us on the Folk, Roots and Acoustic music scene.”
The Festival opens on Saturday with a full afternoon of street entertainment, beginning at noon, featuring accalimed St Ives youth theatre group Kidz R Us performing songs from their current show Sister Act, local shanty group Bamaluz Bootleggers, Phoenix Singers and Cornish folk dancers Tros an Treys in Fore Street, with the St Ives Concert Band playing on West Pier.
The John McCusker Band, featuring the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award-winning fidler, launch the Guildhall’s music programme on Saturday night.
Rising Cornwall bands Flats and Sharps (Sept 11) and The Changing Room (Sept 16) are also appearing at the Guildhall where Irish folk star Cara Dillon, who sold out Wadebridge Twn Hall at the August Bank Holiday Cornwall Folk Festival, closes the Festival on Saturday, September 23.
St Ives football club are staging their fund-raising Mr Peggotty’s Disco Revival there next Friday (Sept 15) as they bring back memories of the town’s long-gone iconic venue.
The Festival is also about taking part and Saturday at 12.30pm will see the first of 15 days of open-air music and poetry in Norway Square hosted once again by St Ives artist and performance poet Bob Devereux who has run this Festival “institution” every year since 1978.
Rain never stops play with Bob simply relocating to one of the many nearby galleries in the event of inclement weather.
With 50 artists displaying their work at 22 Open Gallery venues, theatre, films, walks, talks, craft demonstrations – and a few “extra surprise”, Festival chairman Mary English said: “There is something for everyone.
“St Ives is a special place but what sets it apart is its unique historical and contemporary arts scene.
“The St Ives September Festival continues to grow and aims to encompass this link in its environment but the essence remains the same: to bring the local community and visitors together to celebrate and enjoy St Ives’ creativity.
“I would like to thank local businesses and organisations who are taking part and the volunteers who make the Festival possible.”
For full festival details see www.stivesseptemberfestival.co.uk