A MUSICAL festival with big ambitions returns to this summer with a new Artistic Director.

The Lake District Music Festival was founded in 1985, located in the heart of the Lake District. 

At the centre of everything was this formula to unite an international music festival and truly world-class training amidst the inspiring backdrop of the Lake District.

 Housed all on one site, festival students, teachers and established artists formed a close-knit community so effective at fostering creativity that we remained in the same Ambleside base for 26 years.

Stephen Threlfall, 66, became Artistic Director in October 2020 after the founder of the festival, Renna Kellaway MBE stood down after 35 years at the helm.

On why he got involved and took on the role, Mr Threlfall said: "My whole career has been in music and I was at Chetham's School of Music before this Directing music there.

"The thing I am most passionate about is providing opportunities and creating possibilities for young people. The festival for me is an opportunity to provide something for people to enjoy, experience and even experiment with.

"The festival has a history of providing in the region and I really wanted to bolster that."

The festival will be returning this year on Friday, July 29 and will run until Sunday, August 7. 

Vaughan Williams will be playing a major role in the 2022 festival as they will be celebrating his music during the 150th anniversary of his birth, including an unmissable festival finale.

Mr Threlfall said he is looking forward to seeing everyone back enjoying themselves post covid.

He added: " I am looking forward to seeing people I saw last year in a more relaxed way, I am looking forward to welcoming people back and hoping that they hook on t the variety alongside the quality that is on the programme this year.

"It's great to see people experiencing live music."

Mr Threlfall said his aim as the Artistic Director is to bring more people to the festival, bringing them closer to the artists that will be performing and the community.