PART of this year's arts festival is going to be held at venues across Highbridge, as well as its usual home at the Princess Theatre.

Final preparations are underway for the 67th Highbridge Festival of the Arts and hundreds of entries have been taken for the categories of Dance, Speech and Drama or Music.

But this year the Music category is being held across St Andrews Church, Churchfield Primary School and Highbridge Community Hall.

Festival secretary Maureen Phillips told the Weekly News: “For the first year since I've been involved (about ten years) the whole music section is moving to various venues around the town.

“The festival used to be held in the Highbridge Town Hall before it was condemned in 1984. It's remained at the Princess ever since.

“But this year the new music secretary wanted to get more venues involved.”

Maureen added: “We want to grow the festival and it's nice that it encompasses Highbridge more, making it more inclusive. We're very grateful to everyone who has let us use their venues.

“We've had so many entries this year and we're pleased people are supporting us.”

This year has also seen the introduction of non-competitive classes in Speech and Drama, with the hope encouraging more people to enter.

The festival costs £12,000 to put on per year, but tickets for each session are just £1 on the door.

Dance sessions run from March 6 to 9, then Speech and Drama from March 10 to 11, both at the Princess, followed by the Music section from March 12 to 15 at the venues mentioned.

Tickets for the last three evening performances of dance schools need to be booked in advance on 01278-784464 from March 6.