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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Llangollen Fringe programme unveiled

* The Selecter are amongst headliners at the 2016 Fringe festival.

THIS summer’s Llangollen Fringe aims to build on the growing success of the music and arts festival of the past few years, say its organisers.

Latest figures show that its audience has more than trebled since 2009, shooting up by 29 per on the previous year in 2015, and they are hoping to build even further on that this July.

Rising interest in the festival was revealed a the launch of this year’s programme at Llangollen Pavilion and Fringe bosses say it is bigger and more diverse than ever before.  
The concert programme opens with Ska band The Selecter on Thursday July 14 in Llangollen Town Hall and continues on the Friday with an appearance by VanGoffey, Supergrass drummer Danny Goffey’s new band.

* Classical pianist Luke Jones plays at the Fringe.
An evening of music combining punk and reggae hits the Town Hall stage on Saturday July 16 in the shape of Jah Wobble who has created his own hybrid style. Sunday July 17 sees poet Sarah Howe, winner of the TS Eliot Prize, showcasing her work at the same venue.

Musical collective Easy Star All-Stars are the headline act at the Town Hall on Tuesday July 19, bringing together rock, dub and indie.

Wednesday July 20 is designated Welsh night at the Town Hall when the key performer is Gwenno, creator of layered, home-fi keyboard sounds wrapped in echoed vocals, and songwriter and musician Duke hits the same stage on Thursday July 21.

Gang of Four play the Town Hall on the evening of Friday July 22, while electro-dub outfit Dreadzone appear there on Saturday July 23.

The grand finale concert comes on Sunday July 24 when Ultra High Flamenco from Madrid perform at Valle Crucis Abbey.

A musician from Wrexham who was the youngest performer at the Fringe in 2005 makes a triumphant return this year.       

Pianist Luke Jones was just 10 years old when he played at the festival 11 years ago.

Now 21 and after studying at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, the Conservatorio di Musica in Italy and the Royal Northern College of Music, he is back to present a classical programme of Chopin and Mozart with the cellist Jane Oliver at St John’s Church on July 19.

The spoken word continues to feature in festival programming, with the Taking Flight Theatre company staging Romeo and Juliet at Valle Crucis Abbey on July 15 and 16, and Wrexham playwright Peter Read putting on his own The Ghost of Dylan Thomas at Plas Newydd on July 20.

Poetry also figures with Levi Tafari’s Poetry Slam at the Bridge End Hotel in the town on July 16.

Levi is a well-known rasta poet from Liverpool who performed at last year’s Fringe. He will share some of his own work as well as encouraging people to get involved and perform their compositions.

The Orange Blossom Special Train will be running on Llangollen Steam Railway on Sunday July 17.

Inspired by the Johnny Cash song, there will be live country and western music throughout the evening on platforms and on the train during its return journey to Carrog.

On July 13 Llangollen’s New Dot community cinema screens the film Cabaret.

Fringe director Graham Timms said: “We have designed our programme to provide something to interest everyone.

Featuring some very well-known performers has enhanced the reputation of the festival and grown its audience over the past few years.

“The target was a 10 per cent increase in audience numbers in 2015. The actual attendance increased by 29 per cent.
“In fact, since 2009 our audience has more than trebled, consistently showing a steep upward trend and the directors are encouraged to be even more ambitious in the coming years.”

The full programme will be out in mid-June but further details and booking is available on the festival’s website at

You can get in touch at: or telephone 0800 1455 779.

Art exhibition

The Fringe launch also saw an exhibition of work by Llangollen Artists, including Carys Roberts, Jan Murray, Mike Flory, Simon Collinge and Sue Hall, and some of the exhibits are pictured below.

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