275,000 went to events for city’s festival

11:00pm Saturday 10th November 2012

By Elizabeth Sweetman

NEXT year’s Worcester Festival will revert back to its original format and take place over three weekends following this year’s success, which saw about 275,000 visitors at events across the city centre.

This year’s festival celebrated its 10th birthday in style, with about 600 events taking place in more than 100 venues.

Between 250,000 and 275,000 people saw an event during the festival, which this year took place over two weekends for the first time, not three.

Events during the 11-day festival, which took place between Friday and Monday, August 17 to 27, included performances from The Christians and Elkie Brooks, while Liz Grand’s one-woman play The Second Best Bed, in which she starred as Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway, received critical acclaim.

But Chris Jaeger, chief executive of Worcester Live, which runs the festival, said next year it will return to its original format.

Mr Jaeger said: “Whilst everyone enjoyed the shorter Worcester Festival this year, two weekends has proved simply not long enough to include all the events we would like to offer.

“The festival has grown and grown over the years and it’s a testament to its success that I’m no longer able to manage the administration single-handed.”

Familiar face Ben Humphrey has been appointed as the festival’s artistic director for 2013. He is charged with sourcing and booking events to bring more diversity and creativity.

Mr Humphrey said: “I can’t wait to get more involved with the festival, it’s such a great thing for Worcester and is really inclusive.

“There has always been something for everyone, most of it free of charge, and my goal is to take the festival onward and upward, with a mix of new and exciting events plus a few of the tried and tested favourites.”

The Worcester Festival also includes the Worcester Music Festival and Beer Festival.

More than 11,000 people took part in this year’s music festival, which saw 300 acts deliver more than 400 performances across the weekend, while this year’s Beer Festival attracted a record 13,250 visitors – up 1,000 on last year.

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