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Festival goers could take their place in the record books as Essex prepares to celebrate county’s musical history

25 May 2017

Festival organisers are hoping to set a new world record for the number of people taking part in a STOMP body percussion routine as part of a weekend jam-packed with music.

The Sounds of Essex youth music festival will take place in Colchester over both Saturday, 1 July and Sunday, 2 July.

The event marks 60 years of Essex Youth Orchestras and will feature acts to cater for all tastes in music, showcasing youth music from across Essex.

The first day will be held at Lower Castle Park from 10am until 7pm. It will include hands-on music workshops, rock and pop bands from Colchester Institute, jazz groups, African, Samba, steel pan, Chinese and didgeridoo performances, orchestras, choirs and a tribute to famous Essex bands and artists such as Blur and the Prodigy.

There will also be a world record attempt, with organisers from Essex Music Education Hub, which is led by Essex County Council, hoping to get more than 1,500 people taking part in a STOMP body percussion routine.

Food, refreshments and children’s rides will also be available.

On the second day, which forms part of Colchester’s well-established annual Big Sunday festival, a special ‘Grown: a Grime opera’ performance will be staged at the Old Bus Station, Queen Street, at 2.30pm and again at 4pm.

It will feature well-known grime MC Eyez, Max Wheeler (Anushka), young rappers and electronic artists, along with backing from Essex Youth Orchestra and the Youth Gospel Choir.

Many of the festivals acts will also be playing in other locations across the town as part of the Big Sunday festival.

Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “Essex has a rich and diverse history of music, and this festival is the ideal opportunity to bring people together and celebrate the influential musicians who hail from our great county.

“The event will also mark 60 years of Essex Youth Orchestras and school music, as well as showcasing the huge range of musical opportunities available to young people in Essex.

“There will be a fantastic mix of different genres for all of the family to enjoy, which we hope will help engage and inspire new audiences.

“So regardless of your musical taste, please come along and join the celebration of the ‘Sounds of Essex’.”

For more information about the Sounds of Essex festival, please visit