New music, food and literature festival

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 April 2019

Andy Eastwood will perform at the festival.

Andy Eastwood will perform at the festival.


Live music, poetry and cheese and wine tasting is in store for villagers at the inaugural Barrow and Flax Festival (BFF) this summer.

Alexander Learmonth and a small team of volunteers are hosting an exciting new festival in the villages to bring the community together and celebrate local talent.

Barrow Festival used to be held in Barrow Court every year, with classical music, poetry and literature.

The event folded more than five years ago and villagers were keen to put on a new festival with a wider variety of acts to attract people of all ages and tastes.

Felicity Duke, who is helping to organise the festival, said: “We are hoping it will grow organically.

“We want to see which events are in demand and hopefully make it an annual event.

“We want to make it open to everyone.”

The festival runs from June 13-16, with performances from opera to music hall and poetry to comedy.

The event opens with a tutored wine tasting session with Zoe Coombs of Matthew Clark, with cheese pairings selected by Lye Cross dairy.

Andy Eastwood – ukulele virtuoso and music hall star - is the first musical performer.

He will be playing songs from George Formby and Rossini to the Beatles in the Prince's Motto.

During the weekend, Masterchef finalist Tony Rodd will run a live cookery demonstration, before Kid Carpet performs his lively hit show Noisy Holiday to entertain younger festival-goers.

An evening of stage hypnotism and magic with psychological illusionist Martin Taylor will round off the festivities on Saturday.

The festival reaches its climax on Sunday, with a three-course feast laid on by talented restaurateurs from Wilson's Restaurant in Bristol.

Guests will also be given the opportunity to see inside Barrow Court during a poetry reading.

The jewel in the crown of the festival is a glittering opera gala of the best-loved arias, performed by world-class opera stars Nadine Benjamin and Ben Thapa, with a chance for a picnic in the interval.

For more details, to book tickets, or to find out how to get involved, visit and follow the event on Facebook at Barrow & Flax Festival.

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