New team will bring back popular fringe festival

Sophie Mahon and band at Bury Fringe Festival at The Hunters Club. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Sophie Mahon and band at the Bury St Edmunds Fringe Festival at the Hunter Club in 2018 - Credit: Ross Halls

A fringe festival that celebrates "individuality and creativity" will be back in 2022 after a three-year break.

Bury St Edmunds Fringe Festival has announced on its social media platforms that it is returning next year in April after a pandemic-related absence.

This comes after news that the separate Bury St Edmunds Festival won't be happening in 2022, to focus on getting the Apex venue - which is owned by West Suffolk Council - fully back up and running.

The Fringe Festival is now being organised by a new team - on a voluntary basis - including Naomi Hamer, who is the bar manager at the town's Hunter Club venue. 

The Bury St Edmunds Fringe Festival is planned for April 2022. Pictured is Bury Fringe in 2018

The Bury St Edmunds Fringe Festival is planned for April 2022. Pictured is Bury Fringe in 2018 - Credit: Jan Roberts

Miss Hamer said it was still early days in terms of plans, but as a rough guide they are looking to include comedy, live music, art, theatre, book readings and a singer/songwriter competition.

She said: "It's been such a rough few years for everybody and it would be so lovely just for everybody to rediscover us. Arts and culture is so positive. It's such a lovely opportunity to celebrate individuality and creativity."

She added: "There will be little hidden gems. I'm really motivated."

Miss Hamer, who is part of the Howard Estate Green Hearts group, said they were also keen to get community groups more involved in the fringe to highlight their importance.

The new team behind Bury Fringe want community groups to be involved. Pictured is the 2018 event - Credit: Jan Roberts

The last Bury St Edmunds Fringe Festival, in 2019, was "jam packed," Miss Hamer said.

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She said so much had been booked for the 2020 event, which got cancelled because of Covid, and they want to see if those performers, writers and artists will get involved in 2022.

The Bury St Edmunds Fringe Festival is planned for the whole of April and will take place at various places around the town centre.

Bury St Edmunds Fringe 2022 artwork

Bury St Edmunds Fringe 2022 artwork - Credit: Bury St Edmunds Fringe Festival

Normally held in May, the separate Bury St Edmunds Festival, which is organised by the Apex, has been cancelled "to prioritise booking and marketing a full calendar of events at the [Apex] venue".

Jo Rayner, cabinet member for leisure and culture at West Suffolk Council, said the Apex was working hard to get a full programme of events going forward after having to cancel or postpone many performances due to the pandemic.

She added: "We will of course support the work of our partners in organising and putting on other festivals and events across West Suffolk.”

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