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​Happy Festival New Faces talent development programme launches

by timpickstone on 4 March, 2020

The Happy Festival, inspired by the legacy of Bury’s own Victoria Wood, is launching New Faces to find and develop talent in Bury.

Named after the ITV show that made Victoria’s name in the 1970s, New Faces is open to people of all ages. All you need is the desire to improve your skills, try something new or make that dream come true!

The Happy Festival launches over Friday 15 to Sunday 17 May with performances at Bury Art Museum, The Met and at sites across Bury town centre. There will also be a special outdoor summer celebration the Happy Proms on Sunday 12 July at Burrs Country Park. The full programme for the Happy Festival will be announced soon.

The festival is a major part of celebrations to mark Bury’s status as the first Greater Manchester Town of Culture, which will foster and promote local artistic talent this year and well beyond. 

New Faces offers the chance to work with professionals – the best in their field – to write and perform for the Happy Festival in May or the Happy Proms in July. There will be four genres of work, based on those Victoria was best known for: comedy, music, songwriting and TV scriptwriting. 

A musician starting out on your career? Take up the opportunity to work with and be mentored by Victoria Wood’s musical director David Firman, and Bury-based songwriter and musician Joe Nelson, to produce a new piece of music to be performed at the Happy Festival. If this sounds like you, please email by March 20 saying why you’d like to be a part of the programme.

There is also an exciting series of six-week courses in TV scriptwriting, songwriting, comedy writing and comedy performance starting in March. All the courses are hosted by professionals in their field and, again, you’ll get a chance to show off your work at the Happy Festival! Check out our Facebook page HappyFestBury for more details and to book. Courses are only £30 for the six weeks, but spaces are limited. 

The Festival is grateful for the funding and support of the Victoria Wood Foundation, Bury Council, the GMCA and Arts Council England. 

More information about the Town of Culture year in Bury is available at

Do you have any thoughts about what could be taking place during our Town of Culture Year, or how you can get involved? Please email

For more Happy press information please contact

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