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Out & about

MAY Bath in Fashion In a nutshell: A week-long celebration of the extraordinary British fashion industry, this year including a nostalgic look back on fashion by BIBA as it reaches its 50th birthday. What’s occurring? The event brings together authors, designers and fashion celebs from all over the UK. Highlights this year will include BIBA founder Barbara Hulanicki in conversation with Hilary Alexander, design duo Meadham Kirchhoff in conversation with Bath girl and American Vogue contributor Sarah Mower, plus a talk from Mary Homer, MD of Topshop, no less. Why are we excited? You’ll find everything from a Navajo-inspired weaving workshop at the American Museum to a Selvedge Fashion Fair at Milsom Place. We’re particularly looking forward to our own Fashion’s Night Out, a citywide shopping event at boutiques and high street stores across the city, promising treats and discounts galore on the evening of 8 May. Did you know? When Barbara Hulanicki had the big BIBA store in Kensington, “I had a special spot by the door for things that weren’t selling so well, for people to steal,” she says. “I called it shoplifter’s corner.” • 3 – 10 May, various venues;

Bath International Music Festival In a nutshell: A 10-day event showcasing innovative collaborations and unique commissions against a backdrop of the very human themes of Sleep, the Seven Deadly Sins and War. (See also p40). What’s occurring? Everything from jazz to classical, folk, roots, international stars and local talent – the festival is a symphony of musical diversity and exploration. This year’s line-up features no less than three world premieres; a piece for piano by British composer James MacMillan, a new work by Richard Causton to be performed by oboe trio Pipers 3, and a newly-commissioned work by festival

Opposite page, clockwise from top left: Stacey Kent performs as part of the Bath International Music Fest on 24 May; Don’t miss Molotov Jukebox at the first night party of the Iford Arts season on 27 June; expect rhythms and flavours from Venezuela and beyond from Family Atlantica at the Bath Fringe on 29 May; A pretty little maybug, just one of the creepy crawlies bound to be on show at the Festival of Nature: Bath Goes Wild; prize cows at The Royal Bath & West Show

artistic director Alasdair Nicolson, to be performed by internationally-renowned harpist Gabriella Dal’Olio. Why are we excited? Music is the ultimate expression of emotion and this festival is sure to make you feel them all. A really special event for this year will be In Flanders Fields at the Guildhall, a commemorative – and powerful – evening of songs and poetry on the theme of War from British soprano Isobel Buchanan and her husband, actor Jonathan Hyde, with one of the world’s finest accompanists, Malcolm Martineau at the piano. Did you know? Bath International Music Festival was established in 1948, and at different times has been led by Yehudi Menuhin, Michael Tippett, William Glock and Joanna MacGregor. • 16 – 26 May, various venues;

Bath Fringe Festival In a nutshell: This is YOUR Festival (so they tell us), taking place over 17 days, or thereabouts, and showcases all the art forms you can imagine – theatre, music, comedy, circus cabaret, visual arts – as well as some you can’t. What’s occurring? This year brings 155-ish events held everywhere from Bath’s streets, music venues, bars, pubs and theatres ranging from a super glam Masquerade Ball in the Spiegeltent to a free promenade theatre event through Bath, Out of the Shadows with The Natural Theatre Company. The programme is mammoth, so be sure to take a closer look. The visual arts arm of the Fringe – Fringe Arts Bath – is run by a separate group from the performance part of the festival and you can see their excellent programme – there’s a FaB art fair, photomarathon and FaB 2014 open prize in the mix – at Why are we excited? We love hanging out in those plush booths in the Spiegeltent and this year’s ‘Greatest Show in Town’ promises 10 days of dance bands, circus cabaret, stacks of up-and-coming talent, its own kids festival and even a new

“This year’s line- up features no less than three world premieres”

The 2013 designer catwalk show at Bath in Fashion © David Tucker

restaurant, Malinkey’s, on site. Did you know? Previous Fringe performers have included Julian Clary, Jamie Cullum, Rory Bremner and DJ Derek don’t you know . . . • 23 May – 8 June, at various venues in and around the city;

Royal Bath & West Show What’s it all about? This year will be the 151st year of the famous show, and as always there’s an exciting variety of attractions, showcasing the best of the local agricultural industry, that all the family can enjoy. What’s occurring? Alongside the ever- popular classics such as Ladies’ Day, The Family Trail, and the extensive range of trade stands, this year has some interesting new events that you won’t want to miss. The British Cider Championships will give you the opportunity to experience Somerset’s second favourite beverage – just pipped at the post by water, but that’s mostly because it’s necessary for the brewing process – and offer a chance to take part in a tasting with the experts. There’s also a new Celebration of Equine, for people that love all things horse, as well as the 50th anniversary of the amazing Golden Shears competitive sheep- shearing event. Bath Life 33

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