MORE than 4,500 people across Bridgwater, Highbridge, Cheddar, Woolavington and Catcott enjoyed listening to 60 musicians performing at this month's Front Garden Music Festival.

The Front Garden Music Festival by Seed hosted solo acts, duos, string quartets and choirs in settings ranging from private gardens and parks and pub gardens to National Trust gardens.

A £377,788 Arts Council National Lottery grant covering the next three years enabled local artists to showcase their talents alongside quality acts who had travelled to the event in Sedgemoor.

Octogenarian Val Bannister, who played her piano from her home to onlookers at the festival, said: “It’s satisfying to be able to do something to give people a bit of a laugh.”

Seed director Scott O’Hara said: “Front Garden Music Festival started last year as a lockdown event.

"We received such a strong demand from the community to do it in again in an expanded format and the feedback on this year's event was even greater.

"We are looking at expanding to even more locations across two days in 2023.”

Seed also runs a range of other programmes that cater to different people’s interests and needs.

They include:

  • participatory arts activities based in Highbridge including Highbridge Youth Arts, Highbridge Youth Theatre, The Highbridge Community Book and the monthly open mic and jam night at St John’s Church in Highbridge Blues in the Pews;
  • the annual Cheddar Valley Window Wanderland event;
  • a new Bridgwater Guitar and Bass Group;
  • Sounds of The Streets another public spaces music event coming to Axbridge and Woolavington next month;
  • community-led and directed projects to be launched soon in Axbridge, Cheddar and the Polden villages.

Seed representatives will be available at the upcoming Bridgwater Quayside Festival to talk to residents about what the creative and cultural strengths and needs are for the community in the town.

Phil Gibby, Arts Council South West area director, said: “It is fantastic to learn of the impact of this wonderful work by Seed, one of the South West’s two Creative People and Places (CPP) projects for 2022-25.

"Increasing creative and cultural opportunities for communities that need it most, is at the heart of our 10-year vision we set out in Let’s Create, and Seed play a vital role in bringing that vision to life.

"As a result, more people can experience and be inspired by high quality and sustainable culture right on their doorsteps.

"We cannot wait to see their work develop and witness the impact of this investment across Sedgemoor over the next few years.”