Lene Lovich and George Harrison tribute at this year's Blakefest

All Things Must Pass Orchestra
All Things Must Pass Orchestra

2018 Blakefest promises William Blake and the Spirit of the 60s over its three-day run (September 14-16).

As spokeswoman Olivia Stevens explains, the whole idea is to celebrate the legacy of the poet, artist and visionary William Blake and to explore his strong association with Felpham and Bognor Regis.

“It is all about bringing the arts and artists and culture together. He was the inspiration for so much that has happened since, and we are going to be bringing a lot of great art and music and culture to Bognor. We are so lucky to have the amazing post punk popstar Lene Lovich. Blake was also a rebel with a voice, and Lene Lovich was part of that great post-punk movement to empower women. That’s partly what Blakefest is about, giving a platform perhaps to some anti-establishment voices, and we are also very passionate about bringing people together for the arts, to come together and to share the arts together.”

Olivia said she was also delighted to have secured the services of the ten-piece All Things Must Pass Orchestra which has built up a considerable reputation in recent years for its superb reinterpretations of the works of the man dubbed “the Quiet Beatle”, the late George Harrison whose composing instantly flourished, following the collapse of The Beatles, with the release of his landmark triple album All Things Must Pass.

The band played the Festival of Chichester three years ago and then returned a year later to double its audience. It doubled its audience again last year when it switched to Bognor’s Regis Centre.

This year, for the Festival of Chichester, the group offered a spin-off Beatles-focused trio entitled Cellophane Flowers.

The full Blakefest line-up on Saturday, September 15 (details on 0777 5893533 or info@blakefest.co.uk) is:

Alexandra Theatre: 9.30pm Lene Lovich Band; 8pm All Things Must Pass Orchestra (George Harrison tribute); 7.30pm Mister Solo (Mikey Georgeson); 7pm Tobias Churton: Blake and the Sixties.

Studio: 5.45pm Jamie Leeming Trio – Starring Emily Dankworth; 4.15pm Poetry and Jazz, featuring Sasha Dugdale, Niall McDevitt, Naomi Foyle and Barry Smith; 3.30pm Lem and the White Fire; 2.45pm Surreal Man & the Nutter in the Shrubbery, Poetry & Celtic Music, feat. Ciaran O’Driscoll & John Davies; 2pm The Boy Wonders; 1.30pm David Farnan; and 12.30pm A Blade of Grass.

Other events include:

Friday, September 14: Building Jerusalem. Chaired by Simon Moatt, panellists include Atef Alshaer, Daphna Baram, Daud Pidcock and David Fallon.

Building Jerusalem is planned as an interfaith event linking Blake’s poem/hymn and what he meant by the building of Jerusalem.

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