Festival Memories from Pam Twohig

When we buy tickets for a Bath Festivals event and take our seats in one of the city’s unique and historic venues, we’re aware that a whole host of people have worked away behind the scenes to help create these memorable occasions.

One of those people is Pam Twohig, who has worked at Bath Box Office since 1989. We talked to her about some of the events she has worked on and her festival memories.

“I think one of the great  things about The Bath Festival is that it gives us the opportunity, outside of London, to see great artists and emerging talents. Some of the great artists who stand out in my mind include Alfred Brendel, Dave Brubeck, Michael Nyman, Benjamin Grosvenor, Ted Hughes, English National Ballet and Sheku Kanneh Mason. But there are many, many more!

Above image: Benjamin Grovesnor performing at the Bath International Music Festival 2012

People are really at the heart of Bath Festivals. We couldn’t do it without the support of the people of Bath and north east Somerset to their festival and the generosity of local sponsors.   And all the volunteer stewards who love the festival as much as I do and come back year after year.

I have had some pretty unusual tasks and challenges thrown at me over the years.

  • I recall as front of house manager in the 1990s, having to put labels on all the stacking chairs in the Forum balcony and on the rows and rows of fixed seats in the the auditorium. That was a  daunting task as the venue was nothing like the venue we know today.

Above image: Bath Philharmonia performing at the Bath International Music Festival 2013

  • Another massive labelling project, this time at Bath Abbey. We had to make sure all the pews had numbers on them and each row a letter stuck on them before each performance could begin. Then at the end of the performance we had to remove all those numbers and letters.

Above image: The Marion Concert performance in the Bath Abbey at The Bath Festival 2018 

  • Rather bizarrely, I had to organise a procession of clowns for a festival opening in the 1980s. This procession was mostly made up of the pupils of Ralph Allen School where I was teaching at the time.
  • Some things I don’t miss, like having to count and account for all monies taken through the box office in the days before we had computers.

Above image: Pam serving customers at the box office in 2008

  • I was sorry to have missed the occasion when Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev danced at the festival, in 1964, because I was abroad at the time. That these wonderful artists were prepared to come to Bath for the festival says it all!
  • I remember Ted Hughes as the opening speaker at the first Bath Festival Literature Festival in 1995 and Princess Margaret opening the first Bath Festival Contemporary Art Fair at the Assembly Rooms in 1981.

Above image: Princess Margaret when she first visited the Bath Festival in 1962 

  • Being part of the production team in the year 2000 at Green Park Station for the Bath Philharmonia, Bath Festival Mahler Symphony of a Thousand. And who could forget the powerful sculpture of Igor Mitoraj on display in 1996 – a visual treat for us all.

These are just a few of my memories of festivals past and I look forward to supporting Bath Festivals in the future.”

Pam Twohig

Above image: Press clipping from the box office celebrations on takings from Bath International Music Festival 1998

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