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Last Updated: Friday, 26 August 2005, 05:53 GMT 06:53 UK
Stars ready for Faenol festival
Andrea Bocelli
Andrea Bocelli is following in Jose Carreras' footsteps
Andrea Bocelli, Van Morrison, Alison Moyet and Bryn Terfel are the biggest stars at this year's Faenol festival, which opens on Friday night.

The event, which attracts around 25,000 people annually, is in its sixth year.

In the past festivals, many big names have taken to the stage on the estate between Caernarfon and Bangor.

However, North Wales Police are warning that an alcohol ban could be put in place next year if there is evidence of under age drinking at the festival.

Chief Inspector Derek Roberts from the force said: "There are concerns children as young as 14 last year were getting drunk here and clearly in cooperation with the organisers we are going to be clamping down on it this year.

"I don't envisage us taking the bar away altogether but unless things do improve that will be the ultimate sanction here," he said.

The three evenings of opera, show tunes and Welsh language acts have made the event a fixture on the music calendar.

Opera star Bryn Terfel explained how the festival came into being.

"I had been doing concerts with IMG [the festival's promoters] in Scandinavia, and places like Leeds Castle, and they asked if I would be interested in doing one in north Wales, in my own backyard.

The Faenol Festival
The festival attracts thousands against a backdrop of Snowdonia

"I said yes, if we find the proper venue and, most importantly, a calibre of artists who had to be of a certain standard to bring audiences in.

"Seven years ago, I took four members of IMG to different venues of interest - one was a place called Nant Gwythern, where there is a Welsh school now, but there would have been a little bit of difficulty getting audiences.

"Another was Parc Glynllifon, but at that time there were rumours it could be bought by a guy from the Scorpions, so that was a bit up in the air.

"IMG found the Faenol, which I thought was closed and locked up, but it has turned out to be a wonderful amphitheatre.

"Six years on, Michael Ball, Elaine Paige and Carreras have been, and this year it has reached a pinnacle again, the Bocelli night is sold out, and with Alison Moyet and Van Morrison."
An artist I would give my right arm for is Norah Jones - because of her music and because of the Jones factor
Bryn Terfel

He said he had used his own influence to bring in artists of the calibre of Bocelli, Lesley Garrett and Carreras by collaborating with them on concerts and albums in exchange for their attendance at Faenol.

"Without my name, it is very difficult getting these artists," he said.

Tom Jones
Bryn Terfel is keen to persuade Tom Jones to perform

He added he had been surprised by how quickly the festival had established itself.

"I have to pinch myself it has gone so well - I hope it has become something very special in the north Wales calendar.

"People are getting something they would never have got otherwise.

"People are putting the concert into their diaries and are booking hotels - they are travelling thousands of miles for it." He is also planning its long-term future.

"It is in my calendar for the next 10 years, and an artist I would give my right arm for is Norah Jones - because of her music and because of the Jones factor.

"We have been trying to get Tom Jones every year, and next year the opera night with up-and-coming opera singers - that is what we are thinking.

"We have had seven young singers in the last six years who are now singing all over the place. If people say they saw them first at the Faenol, it is great."


SEE ALSO:
Under-21 alcohol ban at Faenol
19 Aug 05 |  North West Wales
Faenol Festival line-up revealed
22 Apr 05 |  North West Wales
Terfel festival to go ahead
12 May 04 |  Wales
Welsh finale at Faenol
26 Aug 03 |  North West Wales
Spanish theme to Faenol
22 Aug 03 |  North West Wales
Bryn Terfel festival 'crisis'
07 May 04 |  North West Wales


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