Landmark festival hit all the right notes

Alnwick Music Festival 2015'Nkrabea Dance from Ghana'Picture by Jane Coltman
Alnwick Music Festival 2015'Nkrabea Dance from Ghana'Picture by Jane Coltman

The 40th Alnwick International Music Festival has been declared a success by its chairman, who is confident the event will return next year.

The curtain came down on the eight-day showcase on Saturday and the crowds were entertained by a mixture of overseas and homegrown performers.

Alnwick Music Festival 2015'The Gelmelzwaaiers'Picture by Jane Coltman

Alnwick Music Festival 2015'The Gelmelzwaaiers'Picture by Jane Coltman

Acts from Ghana, America and Belgium provided the foreign flavour, although organisers were dealt a blow by last minute drop-outs from India and Bulgaria.

Despite the late withdrawals leaving only three international groups, chairman Alan Symmonds believes this year’s event was a hit and a good way to celebrate four decades of the popular festival.

And he has played down rumours that the 2015 spectacle was the last, insisting that organisers are looking ahead to 2016.

However, he admitted that more committee members are needed to help support the event.

Alnwick Music Festival 2015'Apple Chill Cloggers'Picture by Jane Coltman

Alnwick Music Festival 2015'Apple Chill Cloggers'Picture by Jane Coltman

Mr Symmonds said: “We have had a lot of positive feedback about this year’s festival and I thought it was a good event.

“We had a very receptive audience during the week, both in the Market Place where the main stage was and at the Alnwick Playhouse, which hosted a number of evening performances.

“We dealt with the setbacks we faced and I think we produced a successful music festival.

“We had people joining our Friends of the Music Festival scheme and everyone wants another music festival next year which includes performers from abroad.

“There is a serious commitment from the committee and our helpers that there will be a festival next year and we are challenged with providing a festival with international performers in its content.

“The 40th celebration of the festival was not the end, but the beginning of a new era, as some modifications will need to be made.

“The days of having overseas groups which are made up of 60 performers are long gone, but smaller groups would be within our budget.

“From now on, the delivery of a festival in 2016 is the objective. But we do need more people on the committee. That is one of our major problems, because there are too few people doing too many tasks.”

Mr Symmonds thanked everyone who supported this year’s festival, including the volunteers. For more information, visit alnwickmusicfestival.com