The Success of the Wirral Arts Festival 2016

The following is a report to the AGM by the festival director and chairman Valerie Warr.

2016 was the year Heswall Arts Festival became the Wirral Arts Festival: what an accomplishment!

Having experimented in 2015 with three events placed outside Heswall and listened to comments from representatives from elsewhere in Wirral, we decided to re-brand the Festival with help from Wirral Radio and Wirral Council. Our expectation of maybe two or three additional areas becoming involved in this first year was surpassed and events took place in twelve towns/villages of Wirral over the two weeks. During our first five years Heswall Arts Festival became firmly established, but now we need to discuss the place and future of the Wirral Arts Festival to ensure the legacy our Team has created together.

Thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of the Festival Committee we achieved support in kind from several major organisations including two Rotary Clubs, Whitfield Business Hub, Wirral Radio, Heswall U3A and others. My thanks go to them all for helping to give many hundreds of residents and visitors a most excellent variety and quality of entertainment and education during the two weeks.

It is difficult to select highlights as one is tempted to look at the “big” events, but I would like to mention Belly Dancing in Heswall URC, the Organ Concert in Christ Church Birkenhead, a super Family Barn Dance in Bebington, Exordium in the Good Shepherd, the many sessions in West Kirby and Wallasey Town Hall for hosting Strictly Ballroom & Latin. Our biggest audiences were for Shackleton in Wirral Grammar School, Science Day, Engineering Day, our new Law Day, Quintessentially British and the Folk Concert.

We believe we are fully supporting Wirral Council in their Cultural Strategy and doing whatever possible to boost trade, participation, education and fun for Wirral. More help is required for us to cover Wirral better in future but meanwhile, thank you all once again.

We are looking forward to offering another exciting programme starting from 30th September 2017.


Valerie Warr