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Stage4Beverley expanding

Richard Digance

Beverley’s newest arts and music festival, which launched earlier this year, is expanding.

Stage4Beverley, based at the town’s East Riding Theatre, will be adding a fourth day to its programme in 2018 and with an eclectic range of musical genres being programmed, it promises something to satisfy all tastes.

“With sell-out concerts and positive feedback from our audiences, many of whom had travelled considerable distances to visit Beverley, we believe there’s a real appetite for a festival such as ours to brighten up the dark days of winter,” said co-director Roy Woodcock.

Stage4Beverley 2018 will take over the East Riding Theatre from Thursday February 15 to Sunday February 18 and artists confirmed so far include legendary comedian and folk singer Richard Digance, acclaimed jazz singer Claire Martin and seven-piece gypsy folk-rock band Holy Moly and The Crackers.

Tickets will go on sale from the theatre box office on September 8.

“Because our music policy is wide ranging, from classical to blues, folk to bluegrass, jazz and beyond, we were struggling to fit everything into three days,” said artistic director Chris Wade. “But more than anything, those who came to our inaugural festival in February told us how much they enjoyed the atmosphere in the theatre and the fact that we were offering so much entertainment at a time when there isn’t much else going on.

“We are still very much at the planning stage in terms of the festival line-up and are currently negotiating with a number of well-known names, who’ve all said they want to come to Beverley because they’ve heard there’s a real buzz around the festival. So it’s very much a case of ‘watch this space’.”

Richard Digance, currently celebrating 50 years on the road, will headline on the Friday night.

With a BAFTA nomination as TV Entertainer Of The Year and Gold Award recipient from the British Academy of Composers, his first love remains music and live performance. 4,000 live shows, 62 British tours, 14 books, 3 stage plays, 32 albums and nearly 4 million YouTube visits says it all.

He composed the audio book music for Bill Bryson’s best-seller “The Road To Little Dribbling”, His Animal Alphabet poems, serialised by The BBC, are used as English Teaching Aids in 14 countries, from The USA to Swaziland and his guitar instrumentals are used on numerous TV productions. He supported Robin Williams at The London Palladium, and supported Steve Martin in The USA. On TV he played guitar with Queen’s Brian May, Status Quo and The Moody Blues.  Yes, after 50 years he’s still doing what he loves.

The festival’s Saturday afternoon concert will once again feature the Rising Stars of traditional music. Granny’s Attic are a young folk trio who play the tradition with verve, energy and their own inimitable style. These three young men are all exceptional musicians and fine singers and play a range of English, Irish and Scottish traditional music as well as their own compositions.

Formed in 2009, out of a shared passion for folk music, they have been playing at clubs and festivals up and down the country, and have been heralded for their lively performances and maturity beyond their years in their delivery and selection of traditional songs.

Joining them will be The Carrivick Sisters, one of the UK’s top young bluegrass and folk acts. Twins Laura and Charlotte perform their original songs and instrumentals along with a few carefully chosen covers on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, dobro, and clawhammer banjo.

The Carrivick Sisters first started performing as a duo in 2006, originally as buskers before starting to play more and more proper gigs, turning professional when they left school in 2007. In 2007 they won the South West Buskers and Street Entertainers Competition, gaining themselves their first spot at Glastonbury.

Sunday afternoon sees the highly-acclaimed jazz singer Claire Martin take to the stage with her trio. Also well known as a presenter of BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Line-Up, Claire has spent the last 27 years honing the craft of jazz singing to worldwide critical acclaim. Her massive contribution to music was noted in 2011 when she was the proud recipient of an OBE.

And to finish off the festival on the Sunday night will be the ever popular Holy Moly and The Crackers, who have wowed audiences across the country during the past 12 months.

Founders Conrad Bird, Ruth Patterson and ‘Squeezebox’ Rosie lead the band with compelling charismatic style, playing an exciting and visceral blend of rock, pop, folk, blues, balkan, klezmer, ska and reggae.

“With many artists still to be confirmed, including the opening Thursday night, this looks set to be a very promising start to four days of great music ,” said Ms Wade.

Stage4Beverley: From February 15 – 18 2018 at the East Riding Theatre, Beverley. Tickets for individual events will be available from September 8 from www.eastridngtheatre.co.uk  or by calling the Box Office on 01482 874050.

For further information and to sign up to the festival’s mailing list visit www.stage4beverley.com or email admin2stage4beverley.com You can also call 01377 217569

Holy Moly & The Crackers

Jazz diva Claire Martin