Inaugural Warkfest hailed a real success

The site of Warkfest with Warkworth Castle in the background.
The site of Warkfest with Warkworth Castle in the background.

Warkworth hosted its first music festival at the weekend in the grounds of the village cricket club – and Warkfest has been hailed a real community success.

The idea, introduced by David Smailes, grew from a small acoustic stage inside the club to a three-stage event with a marquee and outside space.

Local musicians were eager to take part and give up their time to support Cancer Research UK and showcase their talent.

From singles acoustic sets through to full rock bands, the eight acts fully entertained the 250 ticket-holders present on the night.

The community fully supported the event with help coming from all areas – Smailes Construction organised the lighting, marquee and manpower to set up the event; Warkworth Village Shop sold tickets; James Calvert Spence College provided the staging for the three designated areas and some students helped to support the organisers on the evening; locals stepped forward to organise sound, festival T-shirts and banners; and the community police were on hand to help keep everything moving if necessary.

David, one of the organisers, said: “We had hoped to provide some live music and a good night for a few, but very quickly we were overwhelmed by the support and enthusiasm from the community, from the musicians to James Calvert Spence College and Warkworth Cricket Club to the people who actually bought tickets and came to join in.

“The atmosphere was fantastic and it was a real team effort from everyone. I am sure we will be doing it again.”

Although the event was not primarily set up as a fund-raising venture, Warkfest hopes to be able to donate in the region of £1,300 to Cancer Research UK.