May 4, 2021

Bathurst Bells to take centre stage

5 minute read

Bathurst’s Festival of Bells rings out 7-9 May 2021.

Music lovers can soak up the magic of Bathurst’s inaugural Festival of Bells which will feature a series of free concerts in the historic city celebrating the commemorative nature of the Bathurst District Soldiers’ Memorial Carillon.

One of Bathurst’s most iconic landmarks, the Carillon is over 30 metres tall, situated in the beautiful public area of Bathurst’s Town Square, named Kings Parade. Its automated bells chime every hour, but the Carillon has also recently been installed with a clavier, an instrument inside the Carillon which enables its bells to be played like a giant public piano of sorts.

The beautiful sound created by the set of world-class Carillon bells will ring out over the two-day festival program featuring Australian carillonists, bands, cathedral bellringers, choirs, orchestras, and individual musicians.

Highlights include a moving Last Post Ceremony, a world premiere of a commissioned Digeridoo piece by Gerard Brophy, a Twilight Family Concert, and a Mother’s Day Concert.

Bathurst’s Carillon under construction.

The stunning Art Deco structure was built to honour the service and sacrifice of local men and women during World War I, with the citizens of Bathurst deciding in the 1920s to erect a war memorial that would be dramatically and visually different to any other war memorial in Australia.

During the Great Depression, the construction of the Carillon defied all odds, being crowdfunded entirely by the citizens of Bathurst through various drives like the ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign and was officially opened on Remembrance Day in 1933.

The Bathurst Carillon today from Kings Parade.

Today, the Bathurst War Memorial Carillon has evolved to embrace local servicemen and women who have served or fallen in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations to date. It is one of three complete Carillons in Australia along with one each in Sydney and Canberra.

The Festival of Bells is a highlight in Bathurst’s Autumn Colours program. The festival is free for all to enjoy from Kings Parade, with several grassed areas for people to bring a picnic rug and enjoy the music.

Or, to obtain a prime position directly in front of the performance stage and the Carillon, register to secure your seat at one of 5 ticketed sessions. Tickets are free, but registrations for a seat at the sessions are essential. You may book more than one session, but each session is limited to 500 attendees.

For full details, the complete festival program, and to book tickets, visit the official Festival of Bells web page.

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