St Ives comes alive

PUBLISHED: 14:30 13 September 2013 | UPDATED: 13:29 19 September 2013

St Ives

St Ives


St Ives is synonymous with art. most philistine visiors will know are drawn in by the galleries, open studios and craftmakers that are such a vital part of the local economy and as much of an attraction for visitors as the incredible light found there is for artists.

Firepits on Porthmeor beachFirepits on Porthmeor beach

And while the first meeting of the St Ives September Festival was humble, the first festival in 1978 was far from it. From the off, its organisers developed an ambitious programme from folk music, dance, fine arts, chamber music, poetry, arts & crafts and theatre, and even featured a very young Nigel Kennedy.

And it worked. Last year’s festival featured more than 300 different events in the field of music, performance, art, film and literature with more than 9,000 tickets sold and 15,000 people attending the various events on offer. This year, festival-goers can expect as many again, with headline music and performance acts such as Fairport Convention, The Manfreds and hasit moved the September Festival to the last two weeks of September instead of the middle two, which is expected to have a positive impact.

Most of the town becomes involved in the festival with pubs, clubs and even the beach turning into venues to host music, exhibitions, walks, talks, workshops, films, comedy, theatre, plays, stories, poetry, book launches, open studios, demonstrations and more.

The popular film season shows at the St Ives Arts Club. This year’s theme is Monster Films so enjoy a programme including the often copied but never bettered 1922 film Nosferato, as well as Boris Karloff in the tragic Frankenstein (1933) and An American Werewolf in London.

The main music and performance events are held at The Guildhall, The Western Hotel and The St Ives Theatre. There are daily performances of words and poetry at lunchties in Norway Square, weather permitting and around 25 open studios to tour and Porthmeor Beach hosts a communcal ceramic pit fire with demonstrations of the ancient art of pit-firing.

“St Ives and Cornwall are very special any time of the year and in all types of weather but when the sun shines on a cloudless day, with the special light of St Ives, the azure blue of the sea comes alive and is unique in its stunning beauty and wows people from all around the world,” says Malcolm Bell, from Visit Cornwall. “To enjoy this very special place at festival time is a dream combination.” n

For the first time the festival will have its own hub for tickets and information at the new Cornish Gems’ coffee shop and holiday letting service at the bottom of Tregenna Hill which has become the festival sponsors for the next five years. Managing co-director Julianne Shelton said: “We hope that the 2013 festival will be enjoyed by more visitors and locals than ever before and over the next five years Cornish Gems’ ongoing support will help drive awareness to bring more and more people to the event.”

Fairport ConventionFairport Convention

St Ives September Festival 14 – 28 September

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