WOWFest Wells Orchestral Weekend 2021
The International Music Exchange (Wells, Somerset) is delighted to introduce the 2nd edition of WOWFest, which will welcome UK & international choirs, bands, orchestras and ensembles to the medieval streets of Wells from 16-19 July 2021.
Inaugurated under the baton of patron Charles Hazlewood in 2018, WOWFest is a unique opportunity in the UK for young musicians to perform in outstanding venues, take part in expert workshops, meet fellow players from the UK & beyond and discover the wonder of Wells.
About the event
Choirs, bands, orchestras and ensembles from all corners of the world are welcomed to England’s smallest city for an intense weekend of workshops, presentations, concerts and fun social activities. Concerts take place in the beautiful 12th Century Cathedral, the Bishop’s Palace, Cedars Hall and Wells’ majestic Town Hall and medieval Market Square.
In 2018 we were honoured to welcome as special guests the Royal Artillery Band and our patron, conductor Charles Hazlewood, who officially opened the Festival and led an exciting ‘en masse’ workshop for all WOWFest participants upon their arrival in Wells.
Our trip to WOWFest 2018 was one of the most beautiful experiences we had with the chamber ensemble VIOLINISSIMO. The tour was not only excellently organised, but every request and wish was fulfilled in advance of the trip. We were excellently accommodated and our guide – himself a musician – was very attentive and very competent! What characterises the festival in Wells is that not only do we have wonderful musical encounters with other ensembles, and the magical locations always give you the feeling of being in a fairy-tale world, but the organisers also make it possible to visit events with local colour and an unforgettable atmosphere.
WELLS is the smallest city in England (outside of the City of London), and one of the most beautiful in Britain. Dominated by an outstanding Cathedral dating from the 12th Century (known as ‘England’s most poetic’), it boasts a moated medieval Bishop’s Palace, a picture-perfect market square, the oldest residential street with original buildings in Europe, and a state-of-the-art concert hall completed to much acclaim in 2016. All venues are within easy walking distance from your accommodation. Surrounded by beautiful Somerset countryside, Cheddar Gorge, Glastonbury Tor and Bath are on our doorstep and London is reachable in less than 3hrs (with Stonehenge conveniently situated in the middle).
Information for participants
WOWFest is open to youth musical ensembles of all natures. The Festival package includes 3 nights’ half-board accommodation, 2 concerts, participation in Opening & Closing ceremonies, one tailored workshop, a tour manager, and a fun-packed social and sight-seeing schedule.
Thanks to a grant from the Culture Recovery Fund, in 2021 all UK school and youth performing ensembles will have the chance to participate for FREE on Sat 17 or Sun 18 Jul, with the option to extend their visit with overnight accommodation and further concerts, workshops and activities.
Accommodation is organised in the boarding houses of the renowned Wells Cathedral School and local 3* hotels according to participants’ budget.
Visit the WOWFest website for full information and to apply online.