WOWFest 2021: Live Music Returns to Wells! In a celebration of a return to live music, a series of concerts by visiting choirs, orchestras and bands is set to take place in Wells over the weekend of 17-18 July. Courtesy of funding from the CRFG, the second edition of WOWFest: Wells Orchestral Weekend will welcome hundreds of talented young and amateur musicians from across the UK for a joyful weekend of concerts, workshops and even a ceilidh! The inaugural WOWFest took place in July 2018 and saw an exciting range of free events in Wells’ most iconic venues. Highlights included a march by the Royal Artillery Band from the Cathedral Green to the Bishop’s Palace, an experimental workshop by the festival’s patron, local conductor Charles Hazlewood, and highly acclaimed concerts in the Cathedral, Town Hall, Cedars Hall and Bishop’s Palace by hundreds of visiting musicians from the UK, Germany & Malaysia. This year, the concerts will be held in the Covid-safe environment of The Bishop’s Palace. On Saturday 17th July starting at 2pm there will be performances by the Waldegrave School Chamber Choir, the Wiltshire Jazz Academy, the Brass Ensemble of Cheddar Valley Music Club and the Fantasy Orchestra from Bristol. The following day from 3pm will feature The People’s Orchestra, the Lydian Orchestra and local festival favourites the Priddy Singers. (Please note, although the concerts are free, usual entrance fee to The Bishop’s Palace applies.) If Covid restrictions are relaxed on 21st June as hoped, the highlight of the Festival will see a special performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with its iconic ‘Ode to Joy’ chorus. Accompanied by guest symphony orchestra The Bristol Classical Players and professional soloists, a community choir of 100 voices will be formed and rehearsed from the end of June. The concert will take place in St Cuthbert’s Church at 7.30pm on 17th July and will be free to attend with donations; seat reservations will be required via Eventbrite and further info can be found on https://www.wellsyouthmusicfest.co.uk/ode-to-beethoven This is a perfect opportunity to pack a picnic, gather some friends and rejoice in the muchmissed sounds of live music once more. For the full programme and more information please visit www.wellsyouthmusicfest.co.uk. We look forward to welcoming you.