Arts Alive are bringing together a host of talented performers for a Summer Festival of Stories and Songs on July 9 and 10 at the SpArC Theatre in Bishops Castle. The event, which was originally due to go ahead in January, will finally be able to take place so that audiences across the region can enjoy some live performances bursting with culture.

Cerin Mills, Live Events Programmer at Arts Alive, said, “For so long now, live performance in every genre has been taken from us. This has hit many performers and artists really hard. Not only with the loss of earnings and creative outlets, they have lost engaging with a live audience and the electric atmosphere it creates. Arts Alive are really looking forward to reigniting that feeling at our Summer Festival in July, which will showcase and bring together some phenomenal talent from across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Every show will be performed at the SpArC Theatre in a Covid safe way so that local audiences can get to see live performances at long last!”

Tickets can now be booked for three separate shows at the festival on Friday evening, Saturday lunchtime, and Saturday evening.

Friday evening’s first act is English folk duo, Whalebone, and local poet, Jean Atkin, who will be performing a musical collection of poems and Shropshire folklore ‘Understories’ – underpinning how history is raveled around memory and community. Nia Lynn, Dylan Fowler and Oli Wilson-Dickson of Welsh supergroup ALAW, will be showcasing their shared passion for the traditional music of Wales. fROOTS magazine said about them, “Welsh musicians don’t come more sensitive, accomplished and exploratory than this crew.”

At the Saturday lunchtime show, the audience can enjoy a light lunch whilst local storytellers share tales. Sal Tonge from the Stiperstones celebrates the music of language and promises to delight your ears! The award-winning author and storyteller, Amy Douglas, will tell traditional tales from Shropshire and Scotland. Finally, Helen East and Rick Wilson will tell traditional stories drawn from first-hand experience of places they have worked in and visited worldwide.

The festival builds to Saturday evening’s show dubbed ‘an evening of eloquent eccentricity,’ with two special performances. Two of Scotland’s most versatile and popular musicians, Wendy Weatherby and Sandy Breichin, will combine vocals, cello and accordion to play a mixture of traditional and original material. The final act will welcome internationally acclaimed artists, singer-songwriter Michelle Burke from rural East Cork and pianist and composer James Ross, for a ‘smattering of parlour songs, tunes and shenanigans.’

Cerin adds, “These events will bring together such a wealth of talent from across the British Isles, as well as some local gems. We are limited on numbers to comply with Covid rules, so don’t delay in buying your tickets, and join us for a live, in-person cultural experience!”

To purchase tickets visit the ‘Live Performances’ page at and select the relevant Summer Festival event.

Tickets are priced as follows:

Friday, July 9 evening show from 7:30pm, £12 per ticket.

Saturday, July 10 lunchtime show, 1-2:30pm, £12 per ticket including a light lunch.

Saturday, July 10 evening show from 7:30pm, £12 per ticket.