Lichfield Festival goes mobile

Celebrations take place as London Midland names train for festival.

Performers and patrons of the Lichfield Festival gathered at Euston Station earlier this week to celebrate the official naming of one of London Midland’s newest class 350 trains.

The train naming event took place to mark the train operator’s ongoing support of the Lichfield Festival, which this year celebrates its 35th anniversary During the ceremony Julian Lloyd Webber, Festival Patron, named the train the Lichfield Festival, a title it will keep for the rest of its working life.

The event also saw performances from violinist Joo Yeon Sir, The Malachites theatre company and trumpeter Will Morley, who welcomed passengers as they disembarked the 13.50pm arrival from Lichfield Trent Valley onto platform 17 at Euston Station.

Commercial director for London Midland, Richard Brooks, commented: “The event was a great success with everyone enjoying the performances, especially the passengers of the service arriving from Lichfield Trent Valley. It was also a great chance for the festival to be exposed to a wider audience, who thoroughly enjoyed it.

“This is the third year we have sponsored the festival and we wanted to do something special to mark our support of this exciting event. It is very rare that London Midland names a train, and we are delighted to have named a Class 350 train Lichfield Festival in recognition of us being the Principal Partner for the festival.

“Now we are looking forward to seeing the Lichfield Festival train in use and being enjoyed by all. And from December, London Midland will be adding a further two trains to our evening service from London Euston to Lichfield Trent Valley.”

Lichfield Festival Director, Jennifer Mears, added: “We were so thrilled to be able to bring a performance to a wider audience and it was wonderful to see everyone enjoying our music.

“It is unusual for an arts organisation to have a train named after it. A naming ceremony such as this stands as a permanent testament to the unique role which the festival plays in bringing exciting artistic performances of an international calibre to Staffordshire and beyond.”

The Lichfield festival takes place from 1st–10th July and includes music, film, theatre, comedy, dance, family events and visual arts. Performers include Britain’s most popular folk singer, Kate Rusby, star of Live at the Apollo and Mock the Week, Rob Beckett, film critic Mark Kermode, and award-winning author of Birdsong and Engleby, Sebastian Faulks. BBC National Orchestra for Wales will take to the stage for the festival finale concert featuring a world premiere by Composer in Residence, Deborah Pritchard, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

Tickets for the Lichfield Festival are now on sale and can be purchased by visiting the Lichfield Garrick Theatre, or calling 01543 412121.