Saturday 14 September 2019 | 14-30-16.30 (doors open every 10 minutes) | A two-hour playathon by Orchestra of the Swan

Why ‘The Living Orchestra’? Very often an orchestra can seem like a group of untouchables in tailcoats. We want to throw out the concert hall conventions that some people find off-putting or intimidating and help the audience to get close to the music and the musicians. After all, players are human beings, not faceless automatons; they are naturally approachable with a genuine desire to share their joy of music with the widest possible community.

So we invite anyone and everyone to ‘Come and experience an amazing time-travelling feast of music’ performed by Orchestra of the Swan, one of this country’s finest orchestras. Entrance is free and you can choose to stay for 10 minutes or the full two hours. A thrilling opportunity to get close to the musicians as they play in an unusually relaxed environment.

Set in-the-round, doors will open every 10 minutes for visitors to come and go at their leisure. An area of informal seating will feature 15 unique deckchairs - created by Barbara Fidoe, an Escape Arts professional textile artist working with two community groups, Clopton Escape & Stratford Escape – and bean bags, or if you prefer, you can just lie on the floor!

The idea is to enable the general public to experience the orchestra in small doses, rather than having to attend an entire concert with its associated formality. The players will be in jeans & T-shirts and will be very happy for the audience to move seats or sit amongst them.

This is the perfect opportunity for anyone who thinks they don’t like classical music to try it out in a really informal setting. Everything played will be recognisable and popular.

The Living Orchestra will kick off a busy programme of performances over the week of the Festival from 13 to 21 September 2019. To see the full programme and book tickets, visit the Festival website at


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