Press Release


Next year marks an exciting moment for Bath Festivals – their 70th anniversary. To commemorate this important milestone, they have created an incredible programme of events that builds on their rich heritage and cements the festival as a highlight in the Bath calendar for residents and visitors alike. The Bath Festival will take place from 11 to 27 May 2018.

The festival builds on the May 2017 launch of the new multi arts festival.

  • The festival has been extended from 10 to 17 days, with over 160 imaginative and innovative events.
  • A thrilling and diverse range of events in Bath’s iconic venues and spaces will engage the wider community and grow the festival experience in the city.
  • The festival will be highly visible with an increased number of staged, outdoor events.
  • The festival will bring international artists and emerging talent on the global stage to the city, performing alongside those starting out on their professional career.
  • The middle weekend (19 and 20 May) will be one of community engagement with collaborative events with partners, schools, venues and organisations across the city.
  • Throughout the festival, there will be a series of ‘New Meetings’ in which high profile artists will be invited to perform together for the first time. The launch of Bath Songs in 2017 is developed. In the literature programme, a series of keynote addresses and lectures will reflect urgent debates in society, politics, history and science.
  • Bath’s biggest celebration of free entertainment, known as ‘Party in the City’, continues to grow and will take place on Friday 18 May.

Two events have just been announced: The brilliant Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the alumni Choir of Clare College Cambridge will perform at Wiltshire Music Centre in a sparkling evening of glorious music. This is the first of the festival’s two opening night events on 11 May. Major music influencer, pianist and songwriter Ben Folds, will perform on 24 May in the Forum.

Tickets go on-sale on the following dates:

Patrons: Friday 17 November 2017
Members: Tuesday 21 November 2017
General Booking: Thursday 23 November 2017

Membership can be purchased by visiting or calling Bath Box Office on 01225 463362. Different tiers of membership entitle you to priority booking, discounts (subject to membership level) and the opportunity to be invited to exclusive festival events like the Opening Night Party. It covers both The Bath Festival in May and Bath Children’s Literature Festival in autumn. More information can be found here.

More events from the programme will be released over the coming weeks and months, so sign up to the Bath Festivals social media pages and e-newsletter for news alerts and on-sale dates.


First events in more detail

Friday 11 May

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment / Choir of Claire College Cambridge

An orchestral and choral celebration of the grandfather of classical music.

Haydn: Symphony No 1

Haydn: Symphony No 104 ‘London’

Haydn: Nelson Mass


Charlotte Beament, soprano

Clara Hendrick, mezzo soprano

James Way, tenor

Lawrence Williams, baritone

John Butt, conductor

Alumni Choir of Clare College Cambridge

Graham Ross, director

The brilliant Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the alumni Choir of Clare College Cambridge will perform a sparkling programme of fantastic music. Haydn’s Symphony 104 was a smash hit at its London premiere in 1795, confirming the composer’s status as ‘father of the symphony’. His ever popular Nelson Mass is one of the finest of all choral works, performed here by four brilliant young soloists under the direction of multi gramophone award winning director, John Butt.

7.30pm, Wiltshire Music Centre, £39 (£19.50 U18s + students)

Thursday 24 May

Ben Folds

Multi-platinum selling singer, songwriter and producer, Ben Folds, will perform in the Forum as part of his 2018 solo tour, showcasing his recently released songs and classic hits using the intimacy of just a piano.

One of the major music influencers of our generation, Folds has spent over a decade sharing the stage with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras – from Sydney, Australia to the Kennedy Center. For five seasons, he was a judge on the popular NBC series ‘The Sing Off’, which catapulted the art of a cappella into the national spotlight, and helped launch the careers of numerous a cappella groups.

Throughout his career, Folds has created an enormous body of genre-bending musical art that includes pop albums as the front man for Ben Folds Five, multiple solo rock albums, as well as unique collaborative records with artists from Sara Bareilles and Regina Spektor, to Weird Al and William Shatner.

7.30pm (doors open), Bath Forum, £38.00 – £18.00.

How to book

In person at Bath Box Office from 10.30am to 5pm on the release dates (as specified above)
By telephone on 01225 463362.
Online at

NOTE – please use #TheBathFestival in social media posts.


Notes to Editors

  • Over 60,000 people have attended Bath Festivals events in 2017, across the The Bath Festival in May and The Children’s Literature Festival in October.
  • We also deliver a year round programme of music and literature projects which give children and young people opportunities to work with leading arts professionals, gain real-world experience, grow passions and interests, gain access to cultural events and create and produce their own events.
  • Bath Festivals is a charity, whose main sources of funding are donations from individuals, patrons, corporate partners, a grant from the Arts Council, support from Bath & North East Somerset Council, and ticket income.
  • Bath Festivals was founded in 1948 and has a strong sense of heritage with a 70 year history of bringing incredible artists and thinkers to the city.
  • In 2017, The Bath Festival showcased 130 events over 10 days in 13 venues with almost 500 performers, achieving over 21,500 ticket sales. ‘Party in the City’ continued to deliver Bath’s biggest night of free music with performances at over 40 venues to launch The Bath Festival. 2,000 performers participated and over 20,000 people attended.


For further information and for all enquiries please contact

Vicki Cheadle, PR Manager, Bath Festivals.

Tel: 07738 275770