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You are here: > Home > Press > The third annual Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival

05 June 2009
The third annual Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival

The third annual Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival  takes place on Friday 7, Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 August 2009 at:

Burton Agnes Hall,
near Driffield,
East Yorkshire
YO25 4NB

Box Office: 01262 490 324
Featuring performances from:

JTQ, Gwyneth Herbert, Jamil Sheriff Quartet, Esther Miller, Zoe Gilby, East Coast Big Band, Tombo Trio, James Birkett, A Tribute To Atlantic Jazz, Matt Smith Trio, Octopus, Oli Battersby, Rob Law Trio, Rev Ray Trio, and Safari  

Performance times available on request
Admission charges:
Weekend ticket (6 to 10pm Friday, 11am to 10pm Saturday, 11am to 6pm Sunday): £40/£30 early bird; £38 concs/£28 early bird concs

Saturday all day ticket (11am to 10pm): £25/£20 early bird; £23 concs/£18 early bird concs

Sunday all day ticket (11am to 6pm): £25/£20 early bird; £23 concs/£18 early bird concs

Friday evening ticket (6 to 10pm): £20/£15 early bird; £18 concs/£13 early bird concs

Saturday evening ticket (6 to 10pm): £20/£15 early bird; £18 concs/£13 early bird concs

Camping Voucher
(3pm Friday to 12noon Monday; one voucher per tent, caravan or campervan): £25/£20 early bird

Early Bird tickets must be purchased before Wednesday 1 July 2009.  Concessionary rates apply to OAPs, season ticket holders, students, and children aged 12 to 15 years (children under 12 are free with an adult).  Families need only buy one concessionary ticket to cover all their children aged 12 to 15 years.  Tickets also entitle entry to the Hall and award-winning gardens.


"Though unequalled in England for its unspoilt beauty, the rolling countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds is not renowned as a hotbed of jazz.  All that changed the weekend before last when a corner of the Wolds became Coolsville.  Burton Agnes, an Elizabethan Hall near Bridlington, held a jazz festival on its manicured lawns... This is the only jazz event I know where your arrival is delayed by ducks crossing the road and performers are joined onstage by flitting bats...  Possibly the most enjoyable jazz concert I've ever attended"
Christopher Hirst, The Independent

"Burton Agnes Hall ranks among the finest, and best presented, houses in England.  It is the perfect English house, embodying the climax of the final great age of domestic architecture"
Simon Jenkins, England's Thousand Best Houses

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival returns for a third year with another something-for-everyone line-up of artists.  Set in the grounds of an historic Elizabethan hall, and organised by its sax-playing owner, Simon Cunliffe-Lister, and jazz singer Saffron Byass, this year's festival offers the funky howling Hammond of JTQ, the sensual jazz-folk vocal mastery of Gwyneth Herbert, and all jazz and blues points in between.  The main stage sits on manicured lawns in the Hall's award-winning grounds; with rolling fields behind, and pristine woodland to the side, you couldn't ask for a more stunning setting.  Inside the Hall intimate acoustic performances mix with original Elizabethan carvings and French Impressionist art to create an inimitable festival experience.

Simon and Saffron first met in December 2005 and, on discovering a mutual love of jazz and blues music, became great friends.  Acting on their shared dream of hosting a music festival, they launched Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival in August 2007.  'Burton Agnes Hall hosts a year-round programme of events, including the Gardeners' Fair in June, Michaelmas Fair in October and our Christmas, Snowdrop and Easter Egg Openings; the Jazz and Blues Festival is a summer celebration of great music in keeping with these events' says Simon.  'We have a varied line-up of over 15 bands and solo artists; our hope is that people will find the well-chosen music on offer particularly enjoyable in this beautiful setting'.

The Festival promotes family-friendly fun: guests can picnic in the grounds, and adults are invited to relax to the sounds of summer while children's entertainers keep the little ones happy.  Award-winning local produce is on sale throughout the three day festival, including Wold Top beer, and barbecued Burdass Lamb.  A campsite in the field adjacent to the Hall offers panoramic views of the Yorkshire Wolds, and shower facilities for those wishing to pitch a tent for a night or three.  Festival tickets also entitle entry to the Hall and gardens.

Notes to Editors:

Burton Agnes Hall is a Grade I listed building, built by Sir Henry Griffith c.1600 to designs attributed to English architect Robert Smythson, a master mason to Queen Elizabeth I.  The historic house is famous for its unsurpassed Elizabethan plasterwork, carving and panelling, and it also boasts the Queen's state bedroom with a spectacular stucco ceiling, a Chinese room with 18th-century lacquered panels, and a fine collection of French Impressionist and contemporary art (including pieces by Cezanne, Gauguin, Matisse and Renoir), bronzes, furniture and porcelain bought by the family over five generations.  The Hall's previous owner, Sir Marcus Wickham-Boynton, died in 1989, and with no son and direct heir to take over responsibility of the estate it fell to his cousin's son, the then 12 year old, Simon Cunliffe-Lister.  Simon's mother, Susan Cunliffe-Lister, daughter of Viscount William (Willie) Whitelaw (a former Home Secretary who served as deputy prime minister to Margaret Thatcher), and a gifted gardener, managed it on his behalf until three years ago when Simon took over.  Simon now lives at the Hall with his wife Olivia, and their two children Islay (three), and Joss (one).

The estate has always remained in the same family, and Simon can trace his ancestry back to the original inhabitant of the Norman manor house, which was built around 1170 and stands beside the Hall.  The 3,000 acres of woodland and arable farm land lie on the southern edge of the Yorkshire Wolds, five miles inland from the stretching sands of the Holderness coast.  The family farms the majority of the estate, and runs a breeding stud for thoroughbred race horses, looking after six of its own mares, as well as other people's.  

Over recent years, Susan Cunliffe-Lister has transformed Burton Agnes Hall's grounds from scrubland into a thriving visitor attraction.  In 2001 she was voted Country Life magazine's Gardener of the Year, and, in 2005, the walled garden which she created won the Historic Houses Association/Christies Garden of the Year award.  Manicured lawns and topiary ewe bushes surround the Hall, and the walled garden contains a maze, giant games boards (chess, draughts, noughts and crosses, snakes and ladders), a jungle garden, and more than 4,000 species of plants.  Other attractions include a woodland walk with sculptured woodland creatures, a children's playground, a gift and garden shop, a café and ice cream parlour, a farm shop selling local produce, and The Red Bus Gallery, a genuine London RouteMaster bus showcasing works by local artists.

In addition to the jazz and blues festival, Burton Agnes Hall also plays host to a variety of other annual events, such as an Easter Egg Hunt, a Classic Car Rally, a Sealed Knot Re-enactment, a Gardeners' Fair, and a Michaelmas Fair.

  • Simon Cunliffe-Lister and Saffron Byass are available for interview
  • Participating bands are available for sessions
  • Pics available on request

Contact Information:

Contact Name: Helen Maleed
Contact Email: helen@greendesk.demon.co.uk
Contact Telphone: 020 7732 4624 / 07986 235 855


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