Shropshire Star

Bridgnorth's music and arts festival gets underway

Thousands of people are expected to descend on Bridgnorth this weekend as one of the market town's largest events has begun.

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Poet Steve Harrison making people laugh with his cookery inspired poems as the Bridgnorth Music and Arts Festival gets underway

While the Bridgnorth Music and Arts Festival has been running in the town since 2010, this year's event is the first full-scale festival since 2019 after it had to be halted due to Covid.

The 2023 event kicked off on Thursday night at Bridgnorth Library with the Live Poetry Society where a range of performance poets entertained scores of people in an evening that went on until 9.45pm.

On Friday afternoon, the festival continues at the library with several poetry workshops, featuring a crash course in sonnets from poet Paul Francis, and a haiku workshop from David Bingham.

The music kicks off on Friday night when a range of bands will be performing along with discos and karaoke nights being held at many of the town's pubs.

But the fun really starts on Saturday, with a series of events in the town's Castle Gardens, including a rock choir and a Mastermind-style quiz hosted by Bridgnorth's resident brainbox and a runner-up on the BBC show, Ben Spicer, while more bands will be performing in Bridgnorth's pubs during Saturday evening.

On Sunday, Bridgnorth High Street is set to be closed off to traffic as a stage is set up on in the town that will play host to numerous bands, with Irish rockers The Gulls headlining the free music event at 5pm.

The music and festivities continues on Bank Holiday Monday with the Quayside stage hosting yet more music acts, as well as scores more playing in all the pubs around town.

Organiser Westley Bone said: "The poetry on Thursday was such a great show. They had more people turn up than they originally hoped for and people really loved the event.

"There's loads going on in the town on Friday night but the first big event is in the Castle Gardens on Saturday. It may rain but that won't matter as the town council have lent us their huge gazebo. Following that there is lots of music going on in the pubs in the town.

"Sunday is looking great. The weather has changed its mind so it's looking to be a great day."

He added that even though there are other events going on in Shropshire over the weekend, such as the Telford Balloon Fiesta and Shrewsbury Folk Festival, he is expecting thousands to come to Bridgnorth.

"We think there are going to be quite a few thousand coming over the weekend. There seems to be such a buzz about it.

"There's lots of other events across Shropshire this weekend, but we don't see it as a competition. People can come to Bridgnorth and dip in and out as it is all free."

For more details of bands and times for the Bridgnorth Music and Arts Festival, visit