The Bath Festival is a new flagship festival for Bath – 10 days and 130+ events featuring the biggest and brightest names in literature, words and music – celebrating the world heritage city of Bath from 19 – 28th May 2017. The festival supersedes the Bath Literature and Bath International Music Festival.
JUMP IN! 130+ events are now available to book onlineWhat’s On
How to Book
In person at Bath Box Office
By telephone on 01225 463362
Online at What’s On
By post to Bath Box Office Booking opens at 10.30am (online, telephone and counter)
View the online brochure or to receive a copy of the 2017 Festival brochure (posted to subscribers on 6 February) please call Bath Box Office on 01225 463362
The festival began with Bath’s Biggest Free night of music Party in the City. 40 venues, 2 new outdoor festival stages in Parade Gardens and Queen Square and schools, bands, choirs all performing and continued over 10 days.
Take a look at the 2016 Festival in our Festival Gallery view gallery
In less than three weeks time, Bath International Music Festival brings acclaimed folk and acoustic acts to communities in Midsomer Norton, Radstock, Paulton and Keynsham. From the beautifully crafted songs of Nuala Honan to the energetic performance of Gaz Brookfield, don’t miss out on what promises to be an excellent series of events.
Kicking things off for us at Midsomer Norton Town Hall on Saturday, May 21 is Nuala Honan. Originally from rural Australia, Nuala followed her family’s musical heritage to England after winning Most Outstanding Female Vocalist at the South Australian Music Industry Awards and has performed at major festivals including Glastonbury, Bestival and Womad.
Nuala’s vocals give you goose bumps within seconds and her beautifully crafted songs leave you wanting to discover more. Nuala’s passion for local music has led to her setting up weekly music nights in Bristol and it’s clear that music is in her blood.
Emi is an 18 year old bursting with talent. In 2014, she was named Gloucestershire Solo Artist of the Year and has since been supported by BBC Introducing, as well as becoming a finalist in the 2015 Song Academy Young Songwriter of the Year.
Simon writes songs about love, loss and everything in between. Born in Northern Ireland and now living in Radstock, Simon has a beautifully crafted guitar style and a voice to match, as well as skilful song writing. Simon was the winner of the Bath Folk Festival ‘New Shoots’ competition in 2014.
Just down the road at Paulton Library on Thursday, 26 May the most intimate show of the festival takes place, as Sam Easonheadlines an evening of blissful folk music. Sam is a prolific singer-songwriter inspired by the likes of Bob Dylan and James Taylor, and if you’re looking for an evening of heart-strings being pulled at, this is the gig for you!
Since honing his craft at open mic nights, Sam has headlined The Fleece in Bristol as well as supporting David McAlmont, Sandi Thom, Scott Matthews, Winter Mountain and James Vincent McMorrow among others. Sam has released six EP’s including 2014’s ‘Leave The Dark Low’ and ‘Live at the Fleece’ which captures him at his very best.
Lauren is one of the most exciting up and coming singer-songwriters in the West Country and has already released a successful EP in 2014 (‘Vintage Dress’). She has performed across the county and beyond for the last two years including a spot on the Bath Music Festival’s bandstand at Parade Gardens in 2015!
Acoustic Showcase – Free Event! Please click here for more details
The following day will showcase the fruits of months of hard work by a group of Bath College students in collaboration with Bath Festivals at Bonzo Lounge, Keynsham on Friday 27 May. The group have been working towards a BET (Bath Education Trust) Award since December which has seen them plan, curate and produce this special FREE gig for the Music Festival.
Headlined by local band Stone Cold Fiction and featuring open mic spots alongside other top local names, this is the culmination of a series of workshops that have helped this dedicated team to produce what is guaranteed to be a night of great music by some of the best local talent around.
Concluding this series of concerts on Saturday, May 28, we head to Radstock to partner with DNA Arts for an exciting day of arts and music that will see Gaz Brookfield headline the finale of ‘Round About Radstock’ at Victoria Hall. The day time event will see local arts and music in full flow across Radstock and if you collect five stamps on the special Round About Radstock Passport you will receive £1 off a ticket to see Gaz in action that evening. (Note: £1 can be redeemed back on the door for anyone who buys an advanced ticket).
Gaz is no stranger to Victoria Hall having played the venue last year to a packed crowd and you simply won’t want to miss one of the finest and most energetic performers around. His original songs tell the tale of a musician who does what he loves to get from one town to the next.
Gaz remains the only unsigned solo artist to sell out The Fleece, Bristol – a feat he has now achieved four times, the last two selling out over six months in advance,
Often playing as many as 200 gigs a year, Gaz’s relentless and never-ending tour schedule takes him to every corner of the country and beyond. The last few years saw him play at over 100 UK festivals, including Glastonbury, Beautiful Days, Bearded Theory and many more, firmly cementing him as a festival favourite.
So pack out Victoria Hall and get ready to end a memorable day on the highest of highs!
Party in the City is Bath’s biggest, free night of music and performance.
Every May, to mark the opening night of the 10 day The Bath International Music Festival, Party in the City celebrates the panoramic local music scene and vibrant cultural life that Bath and its surrounding areas have to offer.
Last year, the biggest in the history of Party in The City, 48 venues opened their doors to over 2000 performers and 20,000 audience members.
This year on 20th May 2016, we are coordinating an exciting programme of free events across the city of Bath, including fantastic street theatre, processions and dance that will bring the city centre alive with music and dancing and we are now taking performer applications.
We consider all applications that encompass performing and visual arts; from bands to bhangra and DJs to opera, if you have an innovative performance, spectacular collaboration or something completely different that you think could be in Party in the City, we would love to hear from you!
If you would like to submit a performer application form, please read the PitC information sheet and send a completed application form to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31st December.
Art is the way we decorate our personal space, but music is how we decorate our time, and time was of the essence this weekend at Bath’s International Music Festival. Wherever you go in the city, it’s hard not to hear music and life. Bands rehearsing in pubs, street performers and samba bands filling the streets with drums and trumpets; you can tell that Bath is gearing up for something big. Party in the City kicked off the festival on Friday, with over 150 artists showcasing their music at 43 different venues. With such a packed schedule, I had my work cut out picking some highlights.
Down The Rabbit Hole was the festival opener, an Alice in Wonderland themed journey into a child’s imagination. There’s something incredibly whimsical and nostalgic about Alice in Wonderland, and this was a really pleasant peak back into my own childhood. Plus, who could possibly resist the sight of proud kids and proud parents showing off all their hard work. Another must-mention were the Funkinsteins at St James Wine Vaults, an all female band throwing down funk tunes you can really dance to. If you ever get chance to see them live, I can’t recommend it enough. Excellent slap bass and an awesome vocalist.
A quick skip across town and I made it to Parade Gardens with minutes to spare. The festival’s headline act, Bite the Buffalo, were moments away from introducing themselves. If you’re planning to see Robert Plant this year, you’ll catch them supporting him with their own version of Stomp Rock Blues. The brothers from Zambia have previously been spotted on the Glastonbury BBC stage, and really rounded off my Friday night perfectly with something a little different with a lot of heart in a fiery performance that packed a big punch.
Saturday came around far too quickly with much to see across the city. Wassily Kandinsky once said ‘The Soul is the piano with many strings’, a sentiment I couldn’t help seeing in Steven Osborneas he performed to a packed out venue for his much anticipated piano recital. I’ve never been to a piano recital before, but after witnessing Steven’s effortless musical assault on a grand piano I will definitely make an effort to go to more. His set – themed ‘Russian Fireworks’ – was outstanding, a real spine-tingling breath of fresh air after a night of rock and funk that left me pretty awed and regretting ever giving up lessons all those years ago.
My final date was with The Hot Sardines – so in demand that an extra show was added to accommodate their growing fanbase. An eclectic group of musicians that play music from a bygone era with a modern twist, The Hot Sardines really throw themselves into their sound, and if I closed my eyes I lost myself a little in smoke-filled, heaving underground bars of the 30s and 40s.
To round off the weekend, I took up an invitation to Violetta’s Party; a Sunday evening of opera arias, with more than a few surprises, enhanced by the Bath Spa University Operatic Chorus. Alinka Kozari led as Violetta Valéry, accompanied by tenor Gerard Schneider, mezzo Marianne Vidal, and bass-baritone Szymon Wach. The chandeliers that glittered above Bath’s banqueting hall completed the illusion, as we all fell victim to the wiles and charms of Violetta and her guests. It was truly a provocative and involving opera that had all of us laughing and cheering by the end.
The festival continues to rage and there’s a lot to see and hear. This evening the beautiful sounds of the Welsh harp and West African kora brought together by Catrin Finch and Seckou Keitaand one of the world’s leading organists Thomas Trotterwith an evening recital in the beautiful surroundings of Bath Abbey on Wednesday night. Matthew Shipp, dubbed one of the most daring and original pianists in jazz by Rolling Stone, is at the University of Bath Saturday evening, accompanied by bassist and rising figure in the American jazz scene Michael Bisio. Another unmissable act if you love quirky, bold music are Moltov Jukebox, performing at Komedia Thursday night. They’re an explosive London six-piece with a unique take on what they call ‘Tropical Gypsy Dance’, guaranteed to get you moving. Or, if you’re in the mood for something a little more relaxed, check out Jess Vincent. Vincent is a singer/songwriter who also plays guitar, uke and shruti box. She’s launching her new album Shine this Friday at Keynsham’s Community Space.
The 2015 Bath International Bath Music Festival opens on 15 May with Party in the City and continues until Sir Willard White’s festival finale on Tuesday 26 May. We very much hope you will join us at the Festival in its 67th year, bringing the very best of Classical, Jazz, World and Folk to Bath. Celebrated names playing the Festival in Bath in May include Festival Artist in Residence Steven Osborne, his three concerts during the Festival have been picked by BBC Music Magazine as one of the ‘Top 20 UK Unmissable Events’; we also welcome jazz legend Hugh Masekela and many more. Here’s an overview of the exciting line-up. General Booking opens Tuesday 24 March.
We are delighted to have attracted some of the world’s finest soloists and groups in 2015. Amongst them is FestivalArtist in Residence one of the great pianists of his generation Steven Osborne; vocal legend Willard White and world famous organist Thomas Trotter. Prizewinning ensembles such as The Cremona Quartet, the Dunedin Consort, early music vocal ensemble Stile Antico and a very special gig at Cleveland Pools, the UK’s only surviving Georgian lido, from Red Note Scotland’s leading contemporary music ensemble– a do not miss.
2012 BBC Young Musician of the Year Laura Van Der Heijden performs with the European Union Chamber Orchestra; Schubert by Peter Manningand Renato Belsadonna, leading Harpsichord player and Bach authority John Butt, a series of exceptional lunchtime concerts and world class opera from Iford Arts.