We thought it was all over in 2021– but the town's biggest public event, the Brightlingsea Free Music Festival will be back in the summer of 2022.
When last year’s festival finished, everyone thought the curtain had come down for good on the popular annual attraction – but the spirit of the festival just couldn’t be extinguished.
Said committee member Bob Walsh: “Last year’s festival was touch and go because the risk of further COVID restrictions, but we really wanted to do something for the town after all the lockdowns of the previous 18 months. When I walked round the site and saw how much everyone was out there thoroughly enjoying themselves, it brought a lump to my throat and I thought then that surely we couldn’t stop the festival for good."
He added: “At the end we packed up and put away our marquees in the rain, but had to return later when the sun came out to open them out and let them dry. The mood of the volunteers at that point was very downbeat, but gradually we began to form the idea that maybe we could run the festival again – and here we are! We're really looking forward to welcoming everyone to our 2022 festival on August 6 & 7.”
A major hurdle for the committee is the £20,000 cost of running such a big public event – which requires the hire of staging, sound equipment and toilets – and it's on the lookout for sponsors to boost the efforts of its fundraisers. Students at the Colne Community School have been asked to design a festival poster on the theme of the Phoenix rising from the ashes, and a competition is planned for a new logo design that will feature on the volunteers' t-shirts.
If you can help, contact the festival committee via its website.