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Cotswold town of Cheltenham is Festival Central

For four days every spring, the Cotswold spa town of Cheltenham is fit to burst with horse racing fans.  They've all come to see the runners and riders battle it out for the coveted Gold Cup at the prestigious Cheltenham Festival meeting. But the town is also home to four other major festivals. The first Cheltenham Music Festival was held in 1945 and offered just three concerts. Now the four festivals of music, jazz, literature and science showcase 1,000 events between them and sell over 215,000 tickets. Make a date in 2015 to visit at least one.

Jazz Festival (29 April to 4 May)
With more than 20,000 fans beating a path to Cheltenham every May Bank Holiday, this has become one of the country's best loved jazz festivals. It plays host to some of the world's most iconic jazz musicians as well as giving play time to lesser known artists destined for stardom. This year's line-up will be announced in February but, if previous years are anything to go by, fans will be in for a treat. Jamie Cullum is a festival favourite and past headliners also include Hugh Laurie, Eartha Kitt, Van Morrison, Imelda May and Stephane Grapelli.

Science Festival (2 - 7 June)
Here is the place to find answers to life's great mysteries. What's the secret to a perfect cup of tea? Why does chocolate taste so yummy? And how long is a piece of a string? Whether you want to find out about advances in digital technology or discuss how long Earth's got left to live, there will be someone at the 2015 Science Festival who can tell you. Some of the world's greatest scientists, thinkers and comedy geniuses will gather at this truly awe-inspiring interactive event aimed at young and old. Past speakers include Robert Winston, Richard Dawkins, Brian Cox and Professor Alice Roberts. There will also be some of your favourite BBC science programme presenters as well as experts in a range of fields as diverse as computer games and archaeology.

Music Festival (30 June - 11 July)
Music fans are waiting with bated breath for the full 2015 line-up, but organisers have already announced five major concerts which will form the Festival PromsThe BBC Concert Orchestra will open the festival with a tribute to Gershwin's An American in Paris. The iconic Rhapsody in Blue will be played by the winner of BBC Young Musician 2014 - Martin James Bartlett. The famous King's Singers will mark the 150th anniversary of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with an eclectic programme featuring the complicated, syncopated The Rhythm of Life. It's a curious thing. And who could resist a creepy screening of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho with a live soundtrack played by the Britten Sinfonia, one of the UK's top orchestras? The famous shower scene will be even more chilling.

Literature Festival  (2 - 11 October)

Established in 1949, this is one of the world's oldest literary events and it has earned its place at the top of the pile. With over 600 world-renowned writers, actors, poets and politicians this is the ultimate celebration of the written word. As well as around 500 panel discussions, interviews and writing workshops, the festival also hosts Book It! for families and children. This magical part of the festival gives children the chance to see and hear from the people who created their favourite books. Last year there were no fewer than six past and present Children's Laureates in attendance as well as Jacqueline Wilson (Tracy Beaker), Judith Kerr (The Tiger who Came to Tea) and Lauren Child (Charlie and Lola). Whatever you choose to visit the Cotswold town of Cheltenham is festival central!


 


1 comment

  1. I have never been to Cheltenham, really must visit! x

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