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Suffolk's bid to be festival capital

PUBLISHED: 09:00 07 May 2010 | UPDATED: 09:40 01 August 2010

A NEW tourism campaign aimed at making Suffolk the festival capital of the UK was launched on Friday.

Festivals Suffolk was launched by tourism agency Choose Suffolk and arts and heritage organisations with support from the county council at The Cut in Halesworth.

A NEW tourism campaign aimed at making Suffolk the festival capital of the UK was launched on Friday.

Festivals Suffolk was launched by tourism agency Choose Suffolk and arts and heritage organisations with support from the county council at The Cut in Halesworth.

The campaign will promote events including the Latitude Festival on the Henham estate, the Bury St Edmunds Festival, the Aldeburgh Festival, and the HighTide Festival, which began on Friday at The Cut.

The launch was opened by composer Tom Rose, Aldeburgh Young Musician and award winner of the junior section of The Guardian/BBC Proms Young Composers' Competition, followed by poet, Dean Parkin, who gave a taster of his one-man show, Dean's Dead Ducks, which will be at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer.

There was also the premiere of Beth Steel's new play, Ditch, a High Tide and Old Vic co-production, which offers a frightening vision of a future Britain where civilisation has broken down.

Alex Paul, tourism manager at Choose Suffolk, said: “Festivals Suffolk is all about promoting the county as the UK's premier destination for the arts, culture and heritage - the Festivals County of the UK.

“Suffolk's wide range of festivals and events provide an excellent way to promote the county and attract international performers and artists, alongside audiences from as far afield as Israel and China.

“This activity also delivers serious benefits to local residents, both in terms of what's on offer in the county and the boost these events deliver to Suffolk's economy.”

Sam Hodges, HighTide artistic director, said: “Festivals Suffolk is exactly the solution that the county needs - drawing on the breathtaking diversity of its cultural makeup, but accounting for its geographically disparate nature by pooling everyone under one banner. HighTide are thrilled to have such distinguished bedfellows.”

Melvin Benn, managing director of Latitude Festival organiser Festival Republic, said: “This is a fantastic initiative for Suffolk and will help to position the county's strong cultural and arts offering in a very competitive field. As home to a range of high-profile events, such as Latitude, the Festivals Suffolk campaign is a great vehicle to help promote the county as the UK's festivals' capital.”

Marc Ernesti, from Aldeburgh Music and chair of the Choose Suffolk Arts and Heritage Group, said: “The Festivals Suffolk campaign provides the ideal vehicle to celebrate some of the best events our county has to offer, and we invite everyone to come and be inspired here, too.”

To find out more visit www.festivalssuffolk.com

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