Ely Arts Festival is coming back for 2022 with a packed programme of events

#PictureEly challenge poster

#PictureEly challenge poster - Credit: Ely Arts Festival

The Ely Arts Festival is making its return this June and brings with it art, music, food and so much more.

The festival operates over the last half of the month, from June 17 to July 1, and celebrates the history of the Fens and the variety of art forms throughout Ely. 

There will be a little bit of everything for everyone over the two-week festival, including live music, theatrical performances, photography and more. 

There’s a few highlights to look out for during the coming weeks, the first being the #PictureEly event on June 19. 

#PictureEly challenge poster

#PictureEly challenge poster - Credit: Ely Arts Festival

The free event tasks those taking part with the challenge to go into Ely, collect a #PictureEly sticker at the Ely Arts Festival stand on Ely Market, then go and create an artistic recreation of their favourite part of the city. 

The medium is completely up to the artist's decision, so feel free to bring along a camera or any art supplies and materials you need to make your piece. 

The event will run from 10am to 3pm, so make sure to get your pieces in on the day and on time. 

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Or if you’d rather watch a show, you can see Impromptu Shakespeare perform on Thursday, June 23 at The Maltings at 7.30pm.

Lantivet Duo perform at Ely Cathedral at the Ely Arts Festival 2021

Lantivet Duo perform at Ely Cathedral at the Ely Arts Festival 2021 - Credit: Ely Arts Festival

The group perform improvised plays in the style of Shakespeare, and have previously performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, Bristol Shakespeare Festival and BBC Shakespeare Live. 

This event requires a booking online. You can buy tickets at www.babylonarts.org.uk for as little as £5. 

If you fancy a mix of all the festival has to offer, visit the free family-friendly Jubilee Jamboree at Jubilee Gardens by the river on June 25, between 10.30am and 9pm. 

Crowds gather at Jubilee Gardens for the Jubilee Jamboree at the Ely Arts Festival 2021

Crowds gather at Jubilee Gardens for the Jubilee Jamboree at the Ely Arts Festival 2021 - Credit: Ely Arts Festival

It’s packed with a variety of music acts performing on the bandstand, local artists displaying their works, and various food trucks. 

And lastly, to cap off the festival's highlights, you can book a space at The Carnival of the Animals show at Ely Cathedral for an evening of live music themed around animals performed by 300 local schoolchildren and professional soloists. 

It starts with a carnival parade down the nave of the children wearing animal head dresses they made in workshops provided by the festival, followed by the night's music including medleys from The Lion King, Jungle Book, Mancini and Gershwin.

Ely Arts Festival 2021 brings post-lockdown cheer to the city and its residents. 

The Ely Arts Festival - Credit: Andrew Wilkinson