Shipston gearing up for biggest party yet

Shipston town centre is packed during the Proms 2017
Shipston town centre is packed during the Proms 2017

Organisers of the Shipston Proms are putting a call out to all musicians in the area to make this anniversary year bigger than ever.

The two-week long festival of music will celebrate its 20th year in June and is planning an event to match.

It was started in 1998 by a group of like-minded people who felt Shipston needed more music. A volunteer committee still organises the event which has grown into the two- week extravaganza we see today.

Former chair of the committee and still an active member, Tim Porter, said: “This is the 20th year so we’re celebrating that with a few more special events, particularly on the last night when we shut off the square in Shipston, which we always do, but we’re just trying to make it more of an event this time.”

A central part of the proms ethos is to promote and encourage participation from as much local talent as possible.

One way the festival does this is through its Fame competition.

Tim said: “One thing we really like to push is the Fame contest, a talent type thing where anyone can enter.

“We are looking for entrants for that so if there are any bands or solo artists out there they can go onto our proms website and enter.”

He added: “The incentive is to play on the last night, in the market square in front of 1,500 to 2,000 people.”

Winners will also be presented with a modest cash prize.

The festival’s popularity has also come from its ability to appeal to almost every musical taste and genre – and this year’s prom is no exception.

Tim said: “There’s two weeks of music so there’s a lot of different stuff in there.

“It runs from classical music to heavy rock so there’s 
all sorts, open mics, folk nights, some jazz, a classical choir.

“That’s really one of our strong points putting on two weeks of music that covers most aspects. That’s something we’ve always been keen on.”

The festival starts on Friday, June 15 with Too Fat to Kidnap and Mr Ben.

The final night on Saturday, June 30 will feature ska band Badness and a three-piece beat box outfit, Duke and special events.

For up-to-date information on tickets and line-ups visit www.shipstonproms.org