The annual Wantage Summer Arts Festival is a shop-window for the many incredible arts organisations that contribute to the social life of Wantage and surrounding villages. The 2019 Festival runs from Saturday July 15th through to Sunday July 14th, with events to suit all interests and ages. There is a great variety of events including open air theatre, concerts, lectures, workshops and food events. A full events listing can be found at: www.wantagesummerartsfestival.com.

An annual highlight of the Festival is the concert staged by Wantage based folk and ceilidh band, Pandemonium, who have been entertaining young and old alike for the last 27 years. This year the band have been invited back to perform at The Vale and Downland Museum, 7.30pm on Tuesday July 2nd. The museum has been nationally acclaimed as an outstanding example of community partnership. The range of services is very broad ranging, from galleries interpreting the cultural heritage of the Vale of White Horse region, to a cafe with a delightful terrace and garden. All proceeds from the concert are being donated to the Museum to support their work.

The audience can expect the usual mix of fabulous vocals, toe-tapping tunes, fun and laughter from Pandemonium. Their ever expanding range of instruments includes guitar, bass, melodeon, flute, fiddle, recorder and bodhran. This year’s concert promises to be extra special, as Pandemonium have invited some of their friends from the local folk fraternity to join them.

Pandemonium and Friends

Edward Fitzgibbon is one of Britain’s finest lutenists and a master craftsman, making all his own instruments. He has been playing the lute for over 30 years and is a founder member of The Oxford Waits. Edward now lives in Wantage and can regularly be heard performing locally at formal concerts and folk sessions.

Rosewood is a concertina group based in Oxford. They were brought together by their shared love of folk and classical music and their desire to extend the usual repertoire of the concertina. Emma Gardner is a talented musician, playing many instruments and writing fabulous 4 part arrangements of traditional folk melodies. This evening Rosewood will be playing two of Emma’s arrangements, as well as showcasing the versatility of the concertina by playing music by Mozart and Quantz.

Tickets £8 (£6 Friends and Volunteers, £5 under 12s) can be bought/reserved at The Vale and Downland Museum, tel: 01235 771447. The Museum Café will be open on the evening for refreshments.