We wish to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who attended and participated in the 2023 Presteigne Festival – a truly uplifting experience for everyone involved.
Bucking the general trend, our 2023 audience numbers continued to improve, with 79% of all available seats taken and, of the total 24 events, a third were sold out. Audience renewal is hugely important for any arts organisation, and we’re happy to report that this year, over 24% of the audience were first time Festival attenders.
Our Janáček feature was particularly popular, as were the touching birthday celebrations for our old friends David Matthews and Michael Berkeley. With Roxanna Panufnik as composer-in-residence, new music was still very much in evidence, with premieres of no fewer than 10 specially commissioned pieces.
In addition to a packed music programme, other events included showings of three Wales-produced films promoted (in association with Presteigne Screen), readings and talks from Dr Sioned Davies, poet Rhiannon Hooson, Stephen Johnson and Gavin Plumley; also included was the first screening of Barrie Gavin’s superb David Matthews film.
Local galleries and attractions contributed to the Festival with other arts-based activity including exhibitions at the Sidney Nolan Trust and the Presteigne ‘Open Studios’ weekend which showed work by 33 local artists and makers, including three supported by the Sidney Nolan Trust Youth Arts Programme.