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Classical Music Festival Boost To Exmoor Tourism Industry

Author: Penny Adie Published: 31st October 2014 08:42

It's not just the music that makes the Two Moors Festival such a success. It's the fact that tourism benefits by £300,000 in the ten days of operation.

Mark Padmore in OkehamptonB&B owners, pubs, village as well as farm shops do a roaring trade with the many keen concert goers who come from outside the area to enjoy a large dose of music-making at the highest level imaginable. Not just any old music, mind you, but musicians of international fame that could easily be treading the boards of the Carnegie Hall or appearing at the BBC Proms.

Would you expect to hear Angela Hewitt in Ashburton; Trevor Pinnock in Chulmleigh; Mark Padmore in Okehampton; Kate Royal in Dunster let alone Viktoria Mullova in Crediton? No, of course not! But that's where these artists appeared last week thus firmly putting the Festival in the major A* league of classical music festivals in the world.

With three concerts on average per day, audiences needed to be made of stern stuff. However, the draw was such that it seemed quite normal for devotees to book at least half a dozen - the record number by one couple this year was nineteen. A car was essential for charging across Dartmoor and Exmoor to the various church venues and loose change needed to be at the ready for cream teas and pub lunches along the way.

This year ticket sales exceeded all expectation with all but two of the 33 concerts achieving a minimum of 75% capacity audience attendance. What is unique to the Two Moors is the attentive atmosphere created by the musicians who succeed in drawing their listeners towards them. It is that total silence at the end of a concert that indicates the power of performance and spell that has been cast over music lovers.

The Two Moors Festival is up there with the greatest of the greats. The Southwest needs to capitalize on this as fast as possible to enhance its tourist attractions in an ‘off-peak' season.


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