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EditorialsUpFront 05/22

UpFront 05/22

This month marks twenty years since we first promoted Dorset Art Weeks, an event that has since grown enormously in both breadth and reputation. In our May issue in 2002, we previewed a selection of the many artists that opened their studios during that event and it’s been fascinating to look back at the names of those that participated. Many are still opening their doors to the public this May and there are also plenty of new artists showing their work. In the same issue, we also advertised a comprehensive list of events around the area. Musicians as diverse as Bob Dylan, Demis Roussos, and Paul Young were playing in Bournemouth. David Soul was in Bath; comedian Freddie Starr was in Weymouth and magician Paul Daniels was entertaining an audience in Lyme Regis. We promoted ceilidhs, plant sales, walks, and fetes, as well as talks, recitals, craft fairs, and street fairs. At around the same time as we were promoting Dorset Art Weeks, a young British guitarist named Ben Poole had just learned how to play Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile. As a budding guitar player, it was to change his life and set him on the road to becoming one of Britain’s foremost blues guitarists. This month we caught up with him before the start of a schedule that takes him to The David Hall in South Petherton—after which he goes chasing across continents to play for fans in places as diverse as Lithuania and America. These events are all healthy signs of a restart for an industry that was decimated by a pandemic; an event that not only stopped live performance but for many creatives interrupted a flow of inspiration and motivation for their craft. Reading Val Crabb’s cover story is also a reminder of the importance the creative industry has had in brightening up life for so many people over so many years. Along with Eva Harvey, Val played a huge part in giving musicians an opportunity to reach and entertain audiences. From her dreams of having a pub with a piano—before the music industry ever reached today’s enormous audiences—to bringing bands from around the world to her own pub, Val’s story helps set some background for the many of us now enjoying so many live events around the area.

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