Burford Festival 2013
The 2013 Burford Festival will run from Friday 7th June for 10 days to Sunday 16th June.
The action-packed programme builds on the success of previous festivals, with new events to provide something for everyone.
The first weekend will kick off with:
- the Mayors reception for the residents of Burford, Blues band and dancing
- the Heritage Fair, with street entertainment and local producers showing their wares
- a repeat of the popular banquet in St John the Baptist Church
- two Coronation Jubilee Concerts by the combined Burford Singers and Cotswold Childrens Choir with full orchestra
During the week:
- the Festival lunch for the older residents of Burford
- talks by authors and a range of other interesting speakers, including a practical demonstration of silhouette making
- live music in Burfords pubs
- creative writing workshops
- the Mayors childrens party
- guided walks around Burford - historical by day and ghostly by night
The festival reaches a crescendo on the second weekend with:
- a chance to view over 20 privately-owned Burford Gardens spread and buy plants from selected specialist nurseries
- a series of concerts by the Windrush Chamber Orchestra
- a Family Party-on-the-Rec with fun and games for all, a pig roast and local young rock bands
- an evening of musical highlights from West End shows
Burford is a vibrant and friendly community, where people greet you in the street, chat to you in the shops and quietly look after their neighbours when they are in difficulties. With less than twelve hundred residents, Burford maintains more shops and businesses than many places twice its size: you can still live and die in Burford without ever leaving the town.
The Burford Festival is formally constituted as a charity to advance the education, and broaden the knowledge and understanding of the public in the arts. It does this through the provision of a programme of artistic events, in particular in the fields of music, drama, dance, fine arts and handicrafts for the community of Burford and surrounding districts, and for visitors to that area.
The Festival began in 2001 as a two-day event to promote the Cotswold Childrens Choir, a local enterprise. It proved a success, and the organisers decided to build on this by widening its scope to offer a range of activities and entertainment to appeal to every part of the community. In 2003 the second event included garden opening, a local crafts fair, a poetry reading, a concert and a banquet in the parish church. This last proved so popular that it has been repeated on each subsequent occasion and sells out almost as soon as the box office opens.
In both 2005 and 2007 the Festival was extended to cover a week and two weekends, which seems the optimum period for attracting audiences to the events that a local festival can offer. They also aimed to broaden the spectrum of entertainment, including jazz and blues events alongside classical music and literary talks.
In 2007 they introduced a Friends scheme enabling well-wishers to donate modest sums in order to underpin the essential costs which cannot be met by ticket sales alone. Each festival since then has raised over £4000 from a wide range of donors, and the surpluses accumulated are ploughed back into local good causes.
Each biannual festival builds on the success of its predecessors and tries new events. In 2007, 200 older citizens from all parts of the town were invited to a lunch in the festival marquee, encouraged by a network of helpers and generously supported by local businesses. In 2009, the Heritage Fair was introduced, to showcase local crafts and products. In 2011, the programme expanded still further.
The aim is to further widen the Festivals appeal and to give all comers the opportunity to sample new cultural experiences at affordable prices.