THOUSANDS of people flocked to the first weekend of an arts festival in the Cotswolds.

Broadway Arts Festival returned on June 9, promising 10 days of theatre, music and workshops.

Organisers said more than 6,000 people came through the gates over the first weekend for artBEAT on the village green.

“This is 10 days of the most diverse, creative and entertaining events the festival has ever presented,” said festival director Alison Braithwaite.

“There is something for everyone regardless of interest, age or artistic ability.

Evesham Journal: Sue Barker at Broadway Arts FestivalSue Barker at Broadway Arts Festival (Image: Broadway Arts Festival)

“Attracting celebrity speakers, nationally renowned artists, award-winning theatre productions and world-class musicians, the festival is bigger than ever before.”

More than 80 events and workshops are taking place throughout the festival, which kicked off with artBEAT on the village green over the first long weekend (June 9-11), showcasing the work of some of Britain’s top artists, printmakers, sculptors, jewellers, ceramicists, designer-makers and a host of traditional artisans.

Live music has been taking place in the big marquee on the green. Motown, Soul, Jazz, Folk, a Rat Pack style night, a Wednesday Supper Club and Ceilidh on closing night.

Tuesday saw a special performance of Romeo & Juliet by The Lord Chamberlain’s Men at Broadway Tower.

There have also been exclusive private garden tours of some of the finest gardens in the Cotswolds, with fascinating history talks led by a garden designer and historians.

Evesham Journal: The festival is proud of putting on a diverse range of eventsThe festival is proud of putting on a diverse range of events (Image: Broadway Arts Festival)

Celebrity speakers including Sue Barker and Loyd Grossman have appeared at the Cidermill Theatre in Chipping Campden and there’s a new series of literary tours with talks and garden tours at exclusive locations with a famous literary connection.

A family day is taking place on Saturday, June 17 with Robin Hood family outdoor theatre by Illyria in the afternoon on the village green, and art and drumming workshops in the morning.

The Great Broadway Paint-Off on June 18 completes the festival week, where talented artists from across the country spend the day painting in and around the village competing for prizes and the public gets to enjoy a free exhibition of all the entries at the end of the afternoon.