Events come together for summer spectacular

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THREE events will come together under one banner to make this summer one to remember for people in Rutland.

Oakham Festival, Uppingham Feast and a new event called Four Winds Festival, which is a one-off addition for this year, will be run as part of Rutland Festival Fortnight between June 16 and July 3.

Joy Everitt, who is chairman of Oakham Festival and project officer for Arts for Rutland, said: “Rutland is quite a small community and we don’t have a huge amount of money or people so it makes sense to share our resources and we have decided to do this under the one banner of Rutland Festival Fortnight.

“There will still be separate committees for each event but under this umbrella. It should be a really good fortnight for everyone in Rutland.”

Arts for Rutland is running the Four Winds Festival at Rutland Water on June 25 and 26, which will include a performance called The Way the Winds Blow.

The production is based on the history of the area and the Gwash Valley and will also tell the story of Rutland Water’s many passing visitors, such as the ospreys who migrate each year to Africa.

The event will include a choir of more than 300 singers accompanied by a brass band, a concert orchestra and an African percussion band. There will also be cultural activities for the family over the two days.

The Way the Winds Blow is being funded by a £20,000 grant by the Cultural Olympiad, a regional body of funders which is backing projects in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics.

Arts for Rutland has also applied for a £25,000 grant from Arts Council England.

Chairman of Arts for Rutland Peter Lawson said: “This is by anybody’s standards an ambitious project and we are very excited about creating such a large scale event in the area. It is designed to appeal to local residents as well as people who have never been to Rutland before.”

Oakham Festival, which has been running for more than 25 years and incorporates a range of music, theatre and comedy acts and activities, will run for the entire fortnight.

Uppingham Fringe Festival was cancelled last year after three years because of a lack of support. The Feast was part of the festival but was saved because music acts agreed to play for free in a bid to break even. This year’s event will take place on Sunday, June 19.