Free live music and food stalls at Saffron Walden event in summer

Maeve Halligan whose virtuoso fiddle playing entranced the crowd at the Fete de la Musique.

This year's Fête de la Musique is likely to be different to the 2018 one, with measures such as social distancing in place - Credit: Saffron Photo

Free live music and a host of food stalls are on the cards for Saffron Walden Fête de la Musique this summer. 

The Covid-safe event is scheduled for Sunday, June 20. 

Organiser Saffron Walden Arts Trust carefully considered whether to postpone it because of the pandemic, but felt it could be held outside with social distancing, subject to any government restrictions. 

Heather Asker, mayor of Saffron Walden, said: “Last year myself and deputy mayor Richard Porch covered 99 per cent of the venues that had music because this event was fundraising for Fairycroft House. The fact that everybody was outside made it a safe event. 

“In 2015, when I was a mayor, there was music throughout the day and it culminated with a big event in the market square. 


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“It’s hard enough to be doing anything at all this year. It would be amazing if the event can take place. The quality of musicians that we have in the town is second to none, they are superb.” 

In summer 2020, during the first lockdown, musicians played in their gardens and from their balconies to bring music back into the town. 

Saffron Walden musician James White.

Saffron Walden musician James White at Fête de la Musique last summer - Credit: Mart's Arts Photography

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In 2018, 600 musicians across genres played in locations such as the Market Square, the Town Hall, Jubilee Gardens and Museum grounds. 

Children dancing to Maeve Halligan's fiddle at Saffron Walden's Fete de la Musique in June.

Children dancing to Maeve Halligan's fiddle at Saffron Walden's Fete de la Musique 2018 - Credit: Saffron Photo

Lee Dorrington, band member at Moonshine Coyote, said: “For me as a musician, when Fête de la Musique was done, it was the best event in the town by quite a long way. I think there were up to 3,000 people in town that day and the place was buzzing.  

“I played in two places last time with Moonshine and we absolutely loved it. We are thoroughly looking forward to do another one. We cannot wait to start performing again, we have really missed playing. 

Local band Moonshine Coyote brought a lot of smiles with their performance.

Local band Moonshine Coyote performing at Fête de la Musique 2020 - Credit: Mart's Arts Photography

“Before the lockdown started, we were rehearsing in my back garden because we were allowed to socially distance with up to six. It was great to just meet up and play. We were getting rounds of applauses from other gardens, so it was almost like doing a gig." 

The event first came to Saffron Walden in 2015 when Isabella Warren of SWAT had seen it in Paris and thought “we should do this in Walden!”.   

Musicians interested in performing, should email saffronwalden.musicday@gmail.com for more information. Application forms can be downloaded from http://www.saffronwaldenartstrust.co.uk/ 

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