Peace and tranquillity has again returned to Hazel Grove near Hindhead after the Amesbury Arts Festival wrapped up.

The festival had visual arts workshops, daytime concerts, dance workshops, stage combat skills, and five nights of live concerts – including a dance night and a musical theatre night with members of the cast of Mary Poppins.

The week packed in six months’ worth of activities, workshops and performances.

One of the highlights of the arts festival was the sell-out Scouting for Girls gig.

Lead singer Roy Stride said in 2020 the band had 100 live performances booked and, in the end, made only two – one of which was by Zoom.

The audience for the Scouting for Girls gig was 65 per cent local people who were not connected to the school.

The band were joined on stage by Amesbury’s 30-strong chapel choir for the finale of the show to sing She’s So Lovely. It brought the house down and the band loved it.

The gig demonstrated the power of music in bringing people together. It was an incredible experience for those students who mostly were attending their first gig.

The purpose of Amesbury Arts Festival is to inspire the next generation of artists and performers through exposure to new and exciting challenges.

Amesbury School has a strong desire to maintain the new relationships created and maintain the momentum.

As one visitor to the Scouting for Girls gig felt moved to write to the school: “Since we are not actually Amesbury parents it might have been easy to dive in, drink in the wonder of the evening and jog on, but I wanted you to know that what you organised touched all four members of our family in a way that will remain with us always, for which we are all grateful.

“My husband is a massive Scouting for Girls fan, my 13-year-old daughter is a keen singer – starting to perform and was desperate to go to a live gig – and my ten-year-old son has recently taken up the guitar and had to be physically stopped from practising when we got home.

“How lucky those Amesbury kids are for the opportunity you gave them – not just your own pupils, but our kids too – and I’m sure there are many other similar stories.”

For those who missed out on the Scouting For Girls gig at Amesbury School, the band is performing nearby in August at Weyfest.

Amesbury Arts Festival will be back in 2024.