Crowds flock to enjoy first of city’s festivals

THE first of the festivals that bring such a buzz to Wells every year were a runaway success.

Wells Festival of Running saw about 500 runners from across Somerset – and even as far as Zimbabwe – take part in 10k, 5k and 1.2k races on May 26, cheered on by enthusiastic crowds, while there was sell-out show after sell-out show at this year’s Wells Comedy Festival.

And the Stone Carving Festival that returned to Wells after a gap of six years drew thousands of visitors who were able to watch as 20 masons turned blocks of stone into stunning carved objects over the course of the May Day bank holiday weekend.

Stars who appeared at the 2024 Comedy Festival included Nish Kumar, Amy Gledhill, Harry Hill, James Acaster and Tim Key.

Event Founder Ben Williams said: “We’re thrilled with the success of this year’s Wells Comedy Festival. We brought more than two dozen of our favourite comedians in the country to Somerset, we sold over 5,500 tickets – up on last year’s festival – and almost every show sold out.

“With most of our audience members from Somerset, it truly feels like a local event, and we love working with local businesses to make the festival happen. Thank you to the venues, staff, volunteers, partners, artists and, of course, the audience for a wonderful weekend. Now to start thinking about 2025…”

Runners set off at the start of the 10k race

The Mayor of Wells, Councillor Jasmine Browne, started each of the three Wells Festival of Running races.

The 1.2k junior race saw Wells City Harrier Toby Hirst, aged 11, crossing the line first in a time of 4.30. In the 5k, a new course record of 15.41 was set by Neil Golding of Mendip Triathalon & Running Club.

Wells City Harrier Christian Green was the male winner of the 10k with a time of 33.06, with Holly Stables of Black Trail Runners first female home in a time of 39.02. Incredibly, Adam Tango Holland finished fourth in the 10k after coming second in the 5k an hour earlier.

Positive feedback was received afterwards, with one runner commenting: “Thank you to all for making the 10k run so memorable today. My daughter and I really enjoyed the atmosphere.”

Race day photos were taken by Charles Whitton. Details of the results and how to buy photographs can be found at

The event was supported by local volunteers and marshals and was sponsored by Bowley’s Garage and Tincknell Fuels. Waitrose Wells donated fruit for the 10k finishers.

The organiser of the Stone Carving Festival, Paul Roddan, said that it was a fantastic event, with good engagement from the public, and that the quality of the work produced was outstanding. “I can’t be happier,” he said.

The next festival in Wells is the Wells Theatre Festival which takes place from June 20-23.

Picture of Harry Hill at Wells Comedy Festival: Paul Gilbey