From opera to reggae, WemsFest has got it all!

IN TUNE Sean Taylor
IN TUNE Sean Taylor
Picture: Isle of Wight Radio/PA Wire

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VAGABONDS, folk singers, ghosts and guided walks.

Expect the unexpected at WemsFest – a unique arts festival which straddles two counties over two weeks.

Venues include community centres, churches, libraries, Schools, pubs and a Georgian tea room across the Westbourne and Emsworth areas.

The festival runs for two weeks from September 13 and there is a curtain-raiser on Saturday with Latino-reggae band AMJ Collective at the Westbourne Club.

Colin Emmett is technical director of the event.

He said: ‘The whole thing started last year. Like many good ideas, it was conceived in a pub.

‘Myself, a professional lighting designer and sound engineer, happened upon Mark Ringwood, music promoter and manager, and got talking.

‘From there Julian Sluggett, a writer and theatre director came on board, and, with the help of several other unsung heroes, the inaugural WemsFest was born.

‘It has expanded since the first festival in 2012.

‘Geographically we now cover Bosham to the east, Stansted House to the north as well as the core areas of Westbourne and Emsworth.’

The number of events has almost doubled.

There is comedy, opera, children’s shows, a cider and sausage festival, plays, guided walks, a barn dance and even cycling events.

Many of the evenings are accompanied by food.

Mr Emmett added: ‘Personally I’m most looking forward to this year is a singer/songwriter called Sean Taylor.

‘WemsFest is very lucky to have him playing The Deck in Emsworth before he goes global.’

Other highlights include a costumed production of The Mikado and a specially commissioned theatre piece to be performed at The Pavilion tea rooms in the grounds of Stansted House.

Go to wemsfest.com for more.