Free party kicks off summer season in style!
13th May 2009
The summer season will be kicking off to a musical start in Bath when the annual Bath International Music Festival comes to town, bringing a wide range of musical styles and artists from all corners of the globe. The event will begin on the 22nd May with a fabulous and entirely free musical event, Party in the City. And it's not just music that will be playing across the city and streets of Bath, there will also be an explosion of artistic and creative activity during the Bath Fringe Festival which will begin on the same day.
With so many events to enjoy it's worth spending more than just a day in Bath - make the most of everything the festivals have to offer by staying for a few days. The www.visitbath.co.uk website has a huge choice of accommodation options available as well as inspiration and ideas on what else to explore while here.
Bath International Music Festival 22nd May - 6th June
The well-established Bath International Music Festival is now in its 61st year and will begin with another free 'Party in the City' - an enormous event across the whole city centre showcasing Bath's vast and varied music scene. With over 80 groups of musicians taking part and featuring live music, performance theatre, impromptu jazz gigs, dazzling dance and intimate classical recitals, this year's Party in the City promises to be bigger and better than ever. Venues participating range from Bath's historic Abbey and the Georgian Pump Room, Guildhall and Assembly Rooms to intimate galleries, chapels and restaurants.
Highlights include the blues and rock & roll band 'The Amazing Street Cred Band' and the stunning Bath Spa String Quartet at the Assembly Rooms. A new venue for this year's Party is the Bandstand in Parade Gardens where music lovers can enjoy listening to gypsy swing band and local favourites The Mandibles and the Bath Spa Band in this leafy setting next to Pulteney Weir. This year's unmissable headline act at the Pavilion will be Mali's great African Dance Band led by the brilliant blues guitarist Vieux Farka Touré. At 6pm listen out for peels of bells from churches across the city as dozens of bell ringers climb their towers to announce the start of Party in the City and official start of the 2009 Bath International Music Festival. And what would a party be without some fireworks? All you need to do is gaze skywards at 10pm sharp to witness a stunning pyrotechnic display light up the City.
Party in the City will take place on Friday 22 May from 4.45pm to 11.45pm at various venues across Bath. Tickets are not required and all events are free (although some venues will have limited spaces, which will be allocated on a first come basis).
After the stunning opening night of the festival, there will be plenty of opportunity to continue to enjoy live performances across the city with the event running until the 6th June. The Festival is very accessible with a range of music genres to suit all kinds of tastes.
Mainstream classical will be featuring on the Festival's programme with the BBC Concert Orchestra performing Gershwin, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Jerusalem Quartet playing across the venues of Bath. Jazz has always played a key role in this festival and this year will welcome 3 jazz legends over the opening weekend: funk superstar Maceo Parker; British bass virtuoso Dave Holland; and American stars Branford Marsalis Quartet. One of the boldest new projects to feature in this year's programme is the Battle of Quiberon Bay: an operatic extravaganza set in and around Bath's historic Roman Baths, celebrating Handel's 250th anniversary.
For further details of the full programme and ticket information please see the Bath Festivals website www.bathmusicfest.org.uk.
Bath Fringe Festival 22nd May - 7th June
With over 200 events to choose from at this year's Bath Fringe Festival, the line-up for 2009 will provide audiences from the very young to the still young-at-heart with contemporary and world music from the well-established to exciting breaking new acts as welll as comedy, dance, street theatre and creative arts.
The Spiegeltent will be making a welcome return with a great balance of new artists, returning old favourites, legends who haven't played in Bath for years, music of all sorts, top Fringe-style comedy, and the return of Bedlam Cabaret. At entertainment venue Komedia there will be an excellent programme including The Bays, Seth Lakeman, Cara Dillon, and Russell Howard. Other highlights include: Bedlam Fair on the 30th May which is a free event taking place across the streets of Bath with a mixture of street theatre and art; an Afro Cuban Tale at The Forum on the 29th May - the entertaining account of a boy with Spanish and African grandfathers growing up in a land of two cultures featuring over 20 dancers, live musicians and visuals; and Lord Chamberlain's Men at the Botanical Gardens - Shakespeare's romantic summer comedy of mistaken identity, infatuation and broken hearts - also on the 29th May.
Full details of the programme for the Fringe Festival can be found on the official website www.bathfringe.co.uk.
For further information on the above events, as well as a range of accommodation to choose from and details on things to see and do while in Bath visit the tourism website www.visitbath.co.uk.
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Notes to Editors:
For further information or images to illustrate this information, please contact Lucy Weaver at Bath Tourism Plus on 01225 477441 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bath Tourism Plus
Working with the public and private sectors, Bath's destination marketing organisation, Bath Tourism Plus, takes full responsibility for co-ordinating the work of a busy tourist information centre, the marketing of Bath and the surrounding area to leisure and business travellers, PR activity to attract the nation's top travel writers, a conference office, and development of Bath's official destination website www.visitbath.co.uk. For more information about the services that Bath Tourism Plus offers to meetings, conference and incentive travel businesses, see www.bathconference.co.uk
Travel to Bath
Bath is easy to access from all over the UK and the world. High speed, direct train services operated by First Great Western link Bath Spa train station to London and its major airports. Bath Spa train station is well situated, just 5 minutes level walk into the city centre's main shopping and tourist areas. See: www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk . Bristol International Airport is just 15 miles from Bath and operates direct flights from New York and Orlando in the USA, as well as most major European and UK airports. An express bus service to Bristol Temple Meads train station operates throughout the day, and Bath is just a 20 minute train journey from there. See: www.bristolairport.co.uk . Bath is also easy to access by car, from junction 18 of the M4 motorway which links Bath to Bristol, London and South Wales. There are 3243 pubic car parking spaces in Bath with the main long stay car parks at Charlotte Street and Avon Street. There are three Park & Ride services on the outskirts of the city which operate fast, frequent services into the city centre, offering a hassle free, cost effective way of reaching the city centre. There is also a Park & Ride service that operates on Saturdays only from the University of Bath.