Plans for new Marlborough music festival revealed

Written by Tony Millett on .

Plans are being developed for a new annual, family-friendly festival in Marlborough celebrating excellence in jazz, blues, folk, rock and world music, supported by a range of other activities including street theatre, mini-festivals of food and drink, pop-up shops, other arts events and activities for all ages.

MarlboroughFEST will aim to be as inclusive as possible of all parts of the town and surrounding villages.  The first of these new Festivals will be held in 2018 - the organisers have not enough time to put on a festival of the standard they believe the town deserves for summer 2017.

Discussions are already underway with local retailers, traders, pubs, restaurants and business interests.  The plans are being headed by several former members of the Marlborough Jazz Festival committee including Robin Pritchard, Alan Giddings and Richard Bailey. Following this year's festival every member of the committee has resigned.

Robin Pritchard told Marlborough.News: "We think this town not only deserves but needs a major new Festival which will appeal to the young as much as to aged jazz enthusiasts like ourselves!   It'll be a great challenge to produce an event that is exciting for residents and visitors alike and properly promotes the town and the area."

They will be seeking support from residents, local businesses and traders, schools, the Town Council and Wiltshire Council for this new enterprise.

The Festival will be run by a non-profit making company (limited by guarantee) involving local people, so that any surpluses generated can be ploughed back into the event for its future benefit. Fundraising will begin shortly from various sources, which will include potential sponsors.

The wide-ranging series of events would be focused on the heart of the town and could include:

•    a variety of music in pubs, restaurants and other spaces
•    ‘pop-up’ food stalls in the High Street, with a variety of world cuisines
•    gift stalls linked to the main retail outlets
•    a record and CD fair
•    major events in Priory Gardens
•    street theatre to bring the High Street alive
•    children’s events such as ‘jazz for toddlers’ and theatre shows
•    band stands in the High Street area
•    a focus on the Town Hall for shows and as the Festival's information point.

Robin Pritchard brings wide experience to this new venture - he has been in the events business for twenty-five years and had previously been company stage manager at the Royal Shakespeare Company.  

Alan Giddings has had a forty-year career in the arts, entertainment and cultural business.  He has run concert halls and festivals and worked as a consultant liaising  in detail with local authorities.

Richard Bailey has held an alcohol licence for over 20 years. He has been a publican in Marlborough and will bring his significant experience to liaising with the town's pubs, local breweries and food producers.

Anyone interested in getting involved with this project should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.