THE owners of Iford Manor have said “watch this space” after the success of the recent Iford Bounceback Festival.

William Cartwright-Hignett and his wife Marianne said they were “enormously delighted” with the attendance at the impromptu music festival which they organised in just 12 days.

Spread over four evenings in the beautiful Iford Valley, the festival kicked off The festival kicked off on Thursday with a rousing live performance of gypsy jazz, folk and classical music from internationally-acclaimed violinist Tim Kliphuis, performing with bassist Roy Percy from Edinburgh and local pianist David Newton from Freshford, who stepped in at the 11th hour to replace guitarist Nigel Clark.

With the Iford Manor as a backdrop, a crowd of around 140 people were able to spread out on the field next to the River Frome and enjoy a socially distanced picnic while the Tim Kliphuis Trio performed classics from Stefano Grappelli, Duke Ellington and Johann Sebastian Bach among others.

The festival continued on Friday with a concert featuring favourite baroque classics by Handel, Purcell and Bach among others, masterfully brought to life by Sinfonia Britannica, and comprising internationally-acclaimed musicians who regularly play with the top London orchestras.

Its musicians, all specialists in historical performance, work regularly with the UK's leading period instrument orchestras including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music and the English Baroque Soloists.

The multi-award winning singer and jazz pianist Joe Stilgoe, from London, who regularly tours the world, and whose albums have topped the jazz charts four times, lit up the stage on Saturday evening.

He was accompanied by Ben Reynolds on drums and Tom Farmer on bass.

The festival weekend closed on Sunday with an opera gala hosted by international soprano Mary Bevan, who brought with her an award-winning group of friends, including Nicky Spence (tenor), William Thomas (bass), and Dylan Perez (piano), each of them no stranger to award nominations or taking the top prize.

Just shy of 600 people attended the four performances, picnicking in the field opposite Iford Manor, while observing the government's Covid-19 social distancing guidelines.

Mr Cartwright-Hignett said afterwards: “The festival was an enormous success.

"I have received so many emails and messages on Facebook from people who enjoyed the concerts which have been really heart-warming.

“We had just shy of 600 people attending overall, which is very pleasing.

“It was very much an enormous experiment but seems to gain momentum as we went along.

“It was a lot of work but it was very easy to organise. We won’t be staging another festival this year but next year there will be musical events in the gardens or on the estate. Watch this space.”