Gazette Article

Alnmouth Arts Festival 2024: Something Old, Something New

Alnmouth’s popular arts festival returns on Saturday 15th June for aweekend of art and craft displays around the popular coastal village, with music on the church green, a pop-up cinema in an almost secret location and a children’s Ceilidh band on Pease’s Park (courtesy of St. Michael’s Primary School, Alnwick).

Between 10 am and 4 pm on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th , art and craft lovers will be able to see and buy a wide range of paintings, prints, photographs, ceramics, jewellery, textiles, glass and furniture at many private venues, as well as at the Friary and the Hindmarsh Hall.

Almost half of the exhibitors showing work at the Alnmouth Arts Festival this year will be doing so for the first time, providing something new for the legion of regular visitors that return year after year to enjoy this vibrant annual event.

This year, there will be lots of things to see that showcase the rich and eclectic creativity that thrives across the North East of England, many available to buy at affordable prices, including the work of Carole Ann Hall, who has won the 2024 Poster Competition for her delightful ceramic piece ‘Sunshine Over Alnmouth.’ In addition to being on display as part of Carole’s stand at the Hindmarsh Hall, this can be seen on the cover of the latest venue guide.

While regulars like Kevi Steel and the Tenth Avenue Band will return to perform on the church green, this year’s festival welcomes Newcastle’s all-female drumming group the Bangshees, who are likely to make a huge impression.

Returning for a concert in St. John the Baptist’s Church at 7 o’clock on Saturday 15th is the talented singer-songwriter Lydia Bennett, who will be launching her debut album Fossil at the Alnmouth Arts Festival, making this a very special occasion. Meanwhile, the festival will draw to a close on the Sunday night with madrigals performed at the Friary at 6.30 pm, providing the perfect way to relax and wind down after a busy and lively weekend of art, craft, music and fun.

Now operating as a non-for-profit Community Interest Company, the Alnmouth Arts Festival remains true the principles that have guided it over the past two decades. It also continues to rely on the goodwill of Alnmouth’s inhabitants, a dedicated team of village volunteers and venue hosts, and a range of private and corporate sponsors. Sustained support from the Alnmouth Parish Council has seen the festival grow steadily since 2005 into a major event in the cultural life of Northumberland, providing a solid foundation for the festival to become self-supporting.

With a strong past and a promising future, the Alnmouth Arts Festival Committee is keen to strike a balance between retaining the best and most popular aspects of this event and exploring new ways of celebrating Northumbrian creativity. As in so many aspects of modern life, sustainability remains a key component. This includes offering a diverse cross-section of artistic endeavour without overwhelming the resources of a small coastal village.

In order to ease congestion around the village, visitors are requested to park vehicles just outside the village on the car park beside Hipsburn Primary School. A shuttle bus will transport those who need help getting up the incline to the top of Shepherd’s Hill and drop them off just below the cenotaph on the roundabout.

Once in the village, visitors will be able to purchase a guidebook from several kiosks close to the church and the Hindmarsh Hall. This guidebook contains information about events, the exhibitors and their artworks, as well as a map of the venues. Many helpers will also be around to offer advice and assistance throughout this busy weekend, ensuring the safety and security of everyone.

The 2024 Alnmouth Arts Festival aims to be what it has always been, an enjoyable and stimulating weekend that celebrates the creativity of people from across our diverse region in one of its most beautiful locations. All are welcome to come and be part of it.