WOWFest was created by The International Music Exchange, Wells to allow young musicians from all over the world the chance to travel, make friends, learn from expert tutors, perform to new and enthusiastic audiences in beautiful venues and to discover the wonder of Wells. Choirs, bands, orchestras and ensembles from all corners of the world will descend on Wells for an intense weekend of workshops, presentations, concerts and social activities. Concerts will take place in Wells Cathedral, Bishops Palace, Cedars Hall and the Town Hall and will be free entrance to all*. We are honoured to welcome as special guests the Royal Artillery Band, who will be holding a presentation for all local brass, woodwind and percussion players, and our patron, conductor Charles Hazlewood, who will officially open the Festival and lead an exciting 'en masse' workshop for all WOWFest participants upon their arrival in Wells.

*for certain concerts in the Bishops Palace entrance to Palace & Gardens applies.

Information for participants

Come and join young musicians from all over the world for four days of making music and forming friendships. Perform in front of hundreds in ‘England’s most poetic’ Cathedral, the brand new, state-of-the-art Cedars Hall, the medieval splendour of the Bishop’s Palace or Wells’ iconic Market Square. Take part in expert workshops tailored for each ensemble, perform further concerts to local audiences throughout the area and explore the ancient sites of Bath, Glastonbury, Cheddar Gorge and Stonehenge, all within very easy reach of the Festival site.


WELLS is the smallest city in England (outside of the City of London), and one of the most beautiful in Britain. Dominated by an outstanding Cathedral dating from the 12th Century, it boasts a moated medieval Bishop’s Palace, a picture-perfect market square, the oldest purely residential street with original buildings in Europe, and a state-of-the-art concert hall completed to much acclaim in 2016. It is surrounded by beautiful Somerset countryside, a stone’s throw from Bath and only 3hrs to London (with Stonehenge conveniently situated in the middle).


WOWFest will be open to youth musical ensembles of all natures from across the globe, offering 4 days (3 nights) of joint concerts and performances, workshops, social activities and sight-seeing.


Accommodation will be organised in the boarding houses of the renowned Wells Cathedral School and local 3* hotels according to participants' budget. See 'Apply' for further details.