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Festival of Britain

There are two types of arts festival, says Edward Pearce-unsmart ones in pretty places and those visited by Dr Bragg and the leaders of the Republic of Letters

By Edward Pearce   June 1996

Chaucer said it about the Spring. “Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages.” Pilgrimages aren’t what they were, but for a country with a shrinking literacy base, arts festivals do very well. They mostly take place from July through to September, so it’s worth looking around now.

They run from Aldeburgh to York, by way of increasingly insufferable Edinburgh, to beautifully sited Fishguard, the mobile Three Choirs (Worcester this year, Hereford next, then Gloucester), improbable Presteigne, pretty Ludlow and grand Cheltenham-which attracts BBC recording vans and Alfred Brendel. A good British Tourist Authority brochure is available from the Lower Regent…

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