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Malmesbury’s first folk festival nets thousands for charity

Malmesbury’s first ever folk festival, pulled together in just few weeks, has made more than £5,000 for the town Mayor’s chosen charities.

The event, held in September, was quickly organised to mark the inaugural European Folk Day, by a small team, including Malmesbury resident Catherine Burke, with the support of Malmesbury Town Council.

Catherine runs the annual Purbeck Valley Folk Festival, and used her experience and extensive contacts to book a great line-up of acts, and the 500 capacity event was a sellout.

Malmesbury Mayor Cllr Gavin Grant said to make profits of more than £5,200 was a fantastic achievement. The funds will be split between his three chosen charities, HEALS of Malmesbury, Malmesbury Animal Sanctuary and Malmesbury River Valleys Trust.

“This is an amazing amount, particularly given that the event was organised in record time. A big thank you to everyone on the team who helped make this marvellous event such a success. It shows how much music is appreciated in Malmesbury and how much people in the town and beyond want to support small festivals like this one. We hope this will now become an annual event.”

The Malmesbury Folk & Roots Festival was staged in the beautiful Cloister Gardens of Malmesbury Abbey, and festival-goers enjoyed a wide variety of music, side shows and entertainment.

Catherine added: “I’m delighted that the event was so successful. It was so nice to show off our lovely town to so many folk fans who had not been to Malmesbury before. I’m looking forward to starting work on planning more of the same for next year!”

Stephen Kearney, who helped to organise the festival, described European Folk Day as a stunning success. There were 226 events in 32 Countries and 104 new tracks released with 26 Radio broadcasts. He said: “Malmesbury Folk &Roots was a jewel in the crown of this international event. The way the Mayor took such a proactive lead in this successful project shows the potential of collaboration and cooperation with our international neighbours.”

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