Around 8,000 fans attend FOCUS Wales in Wrexham as organisers hail 'fantastic' event


Jonathan Grieve

Crowds flocked to Wrexham for what proved to be an arts festival’s biggest event yet.

Around 8,000 people attended a host of music, comedy and drama events at this year’s FOCUS Wales, which co-founder Andy Jones dubbed a “significant increase” on last year. 

“It’s been fantastic, to be honest. It was the biggest edition of the festival to date,” he said

“Everything went really smoothly and the feedback has been fantastic,”

Events got underway on Thursday for the three-day festival, now in its seventh consecutive year.

With more than 200 bands performing at venues throughout Wrexham, highlights included Astroid Boys, Kizzy Crawford, Bryde, Georgia Ruth, Betsy, Adwaith, Exit International and a whole host of Welsh talent as well as acts from across the UK, such as British Sea Power, Cabbage, John Bramwell, Lucy Spraggan and perfomers from Canada, Poland, France, South Korea, Catalonia, Norway and many more.

Festival-goers also enjoyed performances by comedians Shappi Korsandi and Jonathan Williams, as well as poets such as Stephanie Finegan and the Awkward Poet.

There were also film screenings, theatrical performances and panel events featuring music industry figures from across the globe. 

“It’s been really heartwarming that people have come to Wrexham with no preconceptions and been really welcome, not only by the festival and its staff but by the general public have been really welcoming to these international visitors,” he said.

The festival is supported by the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Government.

Buoyed by the success of this year’s event, organisers and founders Neal Thompson and Andy Jones are hard at work planning the 2018 edition of the festival, which promises to be bigger and better than ever.

See full story in the Leader

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