The line-up for the 2017 feva in Knaresborough is the biggest ever in the 18-year story of the town’s annual summer arts and entertainment festival, say the organisers.
“We have 74 performances and happenings of many and varied types,” said feva chairman, Tony Cerexhe. “In addition, there are 17 art shows, most of them open throughout the festival, plus eight special flavours of feva menu offerings. That makes the 2017 festival one short of a full century of things to do.”
The feva festival will be held from 11 to 20 August and is quite special in Yorkshire in being staged in the school summer holidays.
“Other festivals avoid this time of the year as people go away, but that has turned out to be Knaresborough feva’s ‘unique selling proposition’,” added Tony. “Folk have come to know that there is so much on in Knaresborough during the festival’s 10 days in August and they now travel to the town from far and wide.
“With so much on during the day-time, including the fantastic free street performances, it is a great place to provide distraction for the kids. In the evening we have music, plays, talks and performances of all kinds for adults. As usual, feva offers something for everyone.
“The fact that there is more on this year is testament to the creativity and hard work of our event organisers, and also to the growing numbers who make up the audience,” he said. “The festival also provides a platform for the talent to displayed of over 300 local people.”
First staged in 2000, feva has become a fixture in Knaresborough’s calendar. Henshaw’s will be hosting its hugely popular Urban Beach at it Arts and Crafts Centre on Bond End. This has been made possible by crowd funding and is excellent news for the thousands of children who spend much of each day of the festival on the beach.
This year there is a series of special events being held to celebrate the tri-centenary of the birth of Blind Jack Metcalf, one of Knaresborough’s most famous characters, who was born on 15 August 1717. “There are concerts and performances in his honour, talks on his life and achievements and a special birthday party for the great man,” said Tony Cerexhe.
Yorkshire-based Edwina Hayes will be featuring at the opening concert on Friday 11 August at the Frazer Theatre. Nanci Griffith called her “the sweetest voice in England’, and her version of the song Feels Like Home was featured in the 2009 Cameron Diaz film My Sister’s Keeper.
On 12 August, Knaresborough Players are staging the hilarious play, Black Comedy, and St John’s Choir will host its annual feva choral eucharist by performing Mozart’s Coronation Mass in C. Author, Jackie Buxton, will give a talk about her books at the Library, and Cadenza will perform at the Old School House. The traditional tribute act at the Working Men’s Club will be the Jam’d who will demonstrate the brilliance of Paul Weller and others, while performing the classics of the Jam. Snake Davis will be at Henshaw’s, as will Holy Moly and the Crackers and the Harrogate Society of Magicians will perform at the Frazer. Pro Musica will perform with the award-winning Cassia String Quartet.
On each day, there is free street entertainment provided by those stalwarts the Great Mandavi, Uncle Bob, Where is Wendy and Have-a-Go Pirates. Brightening up feva will be puppets from Frolicked Theatre and the ‘Proper’ Punch and Judy show. The Lions will host their annual Beer Festival over the first weekend and the free Picnic in the Park will be held on Saturday 19 August.
Programmes are available in shops and other outlets in Knaresborough, or from the Tourist Information Centre and Printzone. Tickets are on sale from 1 July. More details and information on bookings are available on www.feva.info.