Herefordshire woman is steering festival to success

Hereford Times: Becci O'Reilly, from Ross-on-Wye, is this year's Flavours of Herefordshire Festival director. Becci O'Reilly, from Ross-on-Wye, is this year's Flavours of Herefordshire Festival director.

THE festival which has secured a spot for Herefordshire on the “foodie map” has a local name steering it to success this year.

Becci O'Reilly, from Ross-on-Wye, has taken on the role of festival director for this year's Flavours of Herefordshire Festival.

The 31-year-old has completed a four-year sandwich degree in event management at the University of Gloucestershire and – after submitting her dissertation in April this year – was offered the role.

Having previously worked for a year with Hereford City Council to support the planned events organised to celebrate the Queen's jubilee, Olympic relay and Hereford Trow in 2012, Becci knows Herefordshire.

And while people might be more familiar with the likes of Mary Berry – who is demonstrating her skills at the festival on the Saturday – it is Becci who is running the show from behind the scenes.

But as attractive as the title may appear, Becci said that running a festival single-handedly is "more graft than glamour".

“This role is definitely challenging. Working with multiple agencies, different levels of authority and juggling deadlines is hard work. Event managers often require people to work long hours, be flexible and relentlessly organised," she said.

"It can be extremely stressful at times and it’s easy to lose sight of the benefits a festival such as flavours brings to an area. Preparations are coming along nicely and we hope to see record numbers again for 2014”.

With a focus on great local produce and family foodie activities, the Flavours of Herefordshire Festival takes place on Castle Green between August 23 and 25.

Joining the nation’s favourite baker and cookery book author Mary Berry CBE is the popular Sea Legs Puppet Theatre which returns with special guest Mister MakerTM.

There will also be plenty of talks, tastings, entertainment, a huge food pavilion of local exhibitors, a food and drink village, face-painting and children’s activities, offering visitors an unmissable free to enter festival experience.

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