Annual arts festival gets go-ahead after cancellation of much-loved events

Royston Arts Festival 2020 performers, the Royston Town Band. Picture: Roger McGough

Royston Arts Festival is back following a virtual event last year - Credit: Roger McGough

Royston Arts Festival is back with a bang - with a host of live events to attend and more. 

Following last year's virtual event and the disappointing cancellations of other community highlights this year due to COVID, it wasn't confirmed whether the arts festival would return to town. 

However, it's now been announced that the arts festival will go-head and deliver much-needed days out to our community!

The biggest event in the Royston calendar takes place from Thursday, September 23, to Sunday, September 26, offering a host of creative delights to marvel at. 

An associated film festival will be staged by Royston Picture Palace taking place on September 19 and 28.

The festival, organised by Creative Royston - a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by unpaid volunteers - and will be something of a hybrid this year, with mostly live events taking place accompanied by an online Finale Concert and Royston Arts Society’s Autumn Exhibition.

It will be a smaller event, due partly to planning difficulties caused by the pandemic - and a smaller committee than usual.

However, there are still a wide range of events covering all interests for everyone to attend under the general headings of ‘Art & Photography’, ‘Family Activities’, ‘Talks & Literature’, ‘Music’ and ‘Performance & Film’.

Last year's event was held virtually as a result of the pandemic, and attracted more than 5,000 views

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Among the highlights for 2021 will be performances by Corvus Amateur Dramatic Society (CADS) at King James Academy Royston and Limitless Academy of Performing Arts at KJAR and their own premises in Melbourn Street.

Royston Photographic Society will hold its annual exhibition in the Town Hall, and Royston Museum will be staging one of several workshops.

Royston Town Band and Royston Folk Club will be providing some music, and Royston MusicFest will take place across several venues in the town on both Saturday and Sunday.

Chair of Creative Royston Carl Filby said: "I am particularly pleased that once again we have been able to include a major event staged in one of the villages in the Royston area in the form of the first Barkway Village Literary Festival which takes place on Saturday, September 25.

As usual, many of the events will be free and full details of the festival programme can be found at